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%? fietu WmibiXL^fim (SUMtti, TD. TD. 

SOCIAL SALVATION. i6mo, $1.00, nei. 

THE LORD'S PRAYER. i6mo,$i4>o. 

APPLIED CHRISTIANITY. Moral Aspects of Social 

Questions. i6mo, $1.25. 
TOOLS AND THE MAN. Property and Industry under 

the Christian Law. iteio, $1.25. 

WHO WROTE THE BIBLE ? A Book for the People. 

i6mo, $1.25. 

" Who Wrote the Bible ? " i6mo, $1.25. 

i6mo, $1.25. 

Boston and New York. 






Published Aprils tqo9. 


The following lectures have been prepared 
for delivery, in March, 1902, before the stu« 
dents of the Divinity School of Yale University, 
upon the Lyman Beecher Foundation. This 
preface is written before the date of their deliv- 
ery, but if no accidents shall occur, what is here 
printed will have been spoken before it is pub- 

Fifteen years ago last month I had the honor 
of speaking in the same place upon the same 
foundation. That course of lectures upon the 
relation of the pidpit to the social questions of the 
day was afterwards printed under the title, 
*^ Tools and the Man: Property and Industry 
under the Christian Law." In the present 
course economic questions have therefore been 
passed by, and attention has been drawn to 
other problems with which the Christian pulpit 
has need to concern itself. That the Christian 


pulpit recognizes this need I have some means 
of knowing, for scarcely a day passes that does 
not bring me letters from ministers of the gospel 
asking for suggestions and helps in the study of 
some of the questions with which these lectures 
deal. It is quite impossible for me to answer 
these mquiries, but I hope that this volume may 
afford some assistance to those who seek such 

The lectures are addressed to men who are 
preparing for the ministry, but the truth pre- 
sented is not for ministers alone. The whole 
discussion concerns laymen as deeply as minis- 
ters; the subjects discussed bring home to every 
citizen his responsibilities. Ministers are not 
in this book considered as possessing any priestly 
character; they are spoken to as men who by 
their intelligence and their social position ought 
to be leaders of public opinion; the remedies 
for social ills here suggested are not ecclesiastical 
remedies, they are such as require the coopera- 
tion of all men of good- will in every conmmnity.' 
And yet I hope that those who read the book 
will be able to recognize the significance of its 
title. If Society were articulate, its cry would 


be, "What must I do to be saved?" That is 
the social question which this volume tries to 
answer. How incomplete and fragmentary the 
answer is, no one knows so well as I: but it is 
such as I have, and I give it in the hope that its 
broken lights may lead some who read it into 
larger vision. 



CoumBVB^ O., February 25, 1902. 









L B kiiqion akd thb Social Qussnov • • 1 

IL T he Cable of thb Pooh .... 82 

m. Thb Statb avd thb Unemflotbd • • • 61 

IV. Cub Bbothebs ik Bonds .... _§£ 

y. Social Vigbs 185 

VL Public Educatioit .••... 172 

yiL Thb BBDBXPTioir of thb Grrr .... 208 

Bbfbbbitgis abd Suooebtiobs • • • 287 



We are to consider, in the hours which we 
shall spend together, the relation of the Chris- 
tian Church and the Christian Pastor to Cur- 
rent Social Questions. Of what are commonly 
known as the Social Questions, the one which 
stands foremost is the industrial question, thel y^ 
question of the organizafion^aSiJ^muneration 
of labor; the relation of employers and em- 
ployees ; the problem of the distribution of the 
product of industry. To that question I gave 
consideration in a course of lectures delivered 
several years ago, in this place. I shall not, 
therefore, dwell upon it at this time. To ignore 
it will not, indeed, be possible ; for all the other 
questions which we are to consider have their 
economic aspects, and cannot be adequately 
treated without constant reference to industrial 
conditions. ^' The question of food and clothes,'^ 



says Charles Ferguson, "is inextricably bound 
up with the interests of arts and letters, and all 
together are meshed and woven in with the 
grand eternal issues, so that we cannot make an 
inch of progress in the settlement of economic 
questions save as we make progress in the set- 
tlement of the other questions." ^ The converse 
is equally true. The wage-worker's problems 
will, however, be before us, in these studies, 
only incidentally; we shall be chiefly occupied 
with other phases of the manifold inquiry with 
which society, in this day and generation, is 
exploring its own doings and misdoings. 

The fact that there is a social question is a 
hopeful symptom. It springs from some dim 
[recognition of the solidarity of society, — of the 
fact that we are members one of another; that 
the ills which the community is heir to are mat- 
ters of concern to all of us. It is not alone the 
sociologists and the philanthropists who are 
aware of the existence of social questions; in a 
more or less definite way we are all thinking 
\about them. , 

It is involved in what I have said that the 
social question, as a whole, presents itself to our 
minds as a pathological study. If we are not 

^ The Religion of DemocrcLcy , p. 66. The correlation of the 
social questions is admirably shown in the last chapter of Pro- 
fessor F. Q. Peabody's Jesus Christ and the Social Question, 


quite as hopeless a^ Isaiah was when he cried 
out to Jerusalem: ^^The whole head is sick, and 
the whole heart faint ; from the sole of the foot 
even unto the head there is no soundness in it; 
but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores," 
— we are still painfully conscious that there are 
morbid conditions in modem society, tenden- 
cierto decay, Ifls that caU for healing. The 
shapes that rise up before us in these searchings 

and intemperance, bankrupt households and 
neglected children, groups of incapables and 
ne'er-do-weels and criminals, — the multitudes 
on whom Jesus looked with compassion because 
they were distressed and scattered as sheep not 
having a shepherd. It is through his eyes that 
we are looking upon the suffering and misery 
that surround us; the social question springs 
from the compassion with which he has touched/ 
our hearts. 

It is true that the pathological study of so- 
ciety leads directly to questions of social organ- 
ization; in the face of so much poverty and 
suffering we are constrained to ask ourselves 
whether something is not wrong with the social 
framework ; whether reconstruction rather than 
repairs is not the thing most needed. "The 
social question of the present age," says Profes- 
sor Feabody, "is not a question of mitigating 




the evils of the existing order, but a question 
whether the existing order itself shall last. It 
is not so much a problem of social amelioration 
which occupies the modem mind as a problem 
of social transformation and reconstruction. 
The new social interest is concerned not so 
much with effects as with causes ; not with so- 
cial therapeutics, but with social bacteriology 
and hygiene. Indeed, in this frame of mind 
there is often to be discerned a violent reaction 
from traditional ways of charity and from mod- 
erate measures of reform. The time is wasted, 
it is urged, which is given to lopping off occa- 
sional branches of social wrong, when the real 
social question cuts at the root from which these 
branches grow. Instead of inquiring what ways 
of charity are wise, let us rather, it is urged, 
inquire why charity is necessary, and why pov- 
erty exists."^ In these words Professor Pea- 
body is stating the social question not as it pre- 
sents itself to his own mind, but rather as it 
takes form in the minds of the more radical re- 
formers. We may not take their point of view, 
but we must admit that the question they raise 
is pertinent. There are reasons for believing 
that the social ailments are constitutional, rather 
than local, and that the remedies must reach 
the seat of the disorder. But if the analogy 

^ Jesus Christ and the Social Question, p. 5. 


which we have been following is of any sig- 
nificance, — if society possesses any of the 
characteristics of an organism, — the remedies 
which are truly radical will not be those which 
are generally contemplated by reformers who 
call themselves radicals. If a house has fallen ' 
into decay, the best thing to do may be to pull | 
it down and build on a new foundation, with '' 
all the modem improvements. Beconstruction, ) 
rather than repair, may, in that case, be theJ 
best policy. But if a tree is pining, it cannot 
be treated after that fashion. It may need 
pruning, and its life may need invigorating by 
the addition of fertilizers to the soil in which it 
grows: it cannot be pulled down and rebuilt. 
The same is true of a human body. If there is 
serious disease, the physician seeks to allay 
suffering and to hold in check the morbid tend- 
encies while he reinforces at every point the 
vital energies. When the cure is complete, it is 
evident that no reconstruction has taken place ; 
it is the same body, with the same parts and 
organs, fulfilling the same functions as before. 

I am aware that analogies are not proofs, and 
I would not put too much weight on this one ; 
but it is certain that society much more nearly / / 
resembles a tree or a human body than a house ; 
it is a living thing ; it has some of the charac- 
teristics of a physical organism, and we shall 



come nearer to the truth if we apply to it the 
laws of biology than if we try to deal with it 
under the laws of mechanics. That is a truth 
which all radical reformers should consider well, 
ociety cannot be pulled down and rebuilt suc- 
essfuUy. It must keep on growing out of its 
wn roots; its vital processes can never be sus- 
ended. Morbid tendencies may be arrested; 
its life may be replenished; possibly its vital 
forces may be directed into new channels, but 
' the structural principles must remain essentially 
the same. The one lesson that the social re- 
former as well as the theological reformer needs 
to learn is the lesson of evolution. 

We shall get a little nearer to the heart of 
the social question when we begin to ask whether 
the answer to it is to come through the indi- 
vidual, or through the social organization. 
Where shall the remedy be applied? Is it the 
men and women who most need healing and 
restoration, or is it the society in which they 
Jve? The theory of Orthodox Protestan tism 
puts th e whole emphasis upon the individ ual: 
*y it has no ho pe of saving society except as it 
I saves the souls ot individual men and women. 
Unquestionably its tendency has been to over- 
state the importance of the individual and to 
ignore the " organic filaments " by which a man 
is vitally bound to the community. It is the 


belief of most preachers of the gospel that if 
all the men and women in the community were 
"soundly converted," there would be no social 
question. If the term "soundly converted" be 
made broad enough, that may be true. But fSeJ 
truth must be confessed that multitudes of those! 
who answer all the requirements of the ordinary* 
evangelical experience ; who are known in their 
churches as men and women of deep and de- 
voted piety; who, in the charitable judgment 
of their neighbors, have sincerely repented of 
their sins, and accepted of the divine forgive- 
ness, and consecrated their lives to the service y 
of God, and are prayerfully endeavoring to do 
his will, — multitudes, I say, of such as these 
are so far from helping to solve the social ques- 
tion that they are doing a great deal to make ' f ■ 
it insolvable by deepening the antipathies and 
alienations which weaken the social bond. The 
trouble with them is that they have been in- 
verted as Individuals; religion is with them too 
much an individual matter between themselves 
and God. The fact that one man can no more 
be a Christian alone than one man can sing an ^ 
oratorio alone is the fact which they have not 
clearly comprehended. The failure to realize 
this truth results in highly unsocial conduct on 
the part of many whose piety is unquestioned. 
I could easily multiply instances which have 


come under my own observation of men and 
women who were humble, trustful, prayerful; 
who obeyed, also, all the ordinary rules of mo- 
rality, — being chaste, truthful, honest, and 
bountiful in their gifts, — and yet who were 
deeply distrusted and even cordially hated by 
those who knew them best. Shall we say that 
it was their superior goodness that repelled 
their neighbors? That is not a safe theory. 
Shall we say that they were hypocrites? God 
forbid that we should thus judge them. Thei^ 
defective conduct arose from their failure to I 
comprehend their vital relations to their f eUowJ 
men. That the essence of religion is righteous- 
ness they would not deny, but the social nature 
of righteousness they do not understand. The 
breadth and comprehensiveness of the law of 
love has not been brought home to them. They 
think of God as a Moral Governor, and conceive 
of his kingdom in this world as the maintenance 
of a certain rectoral justice between man and 
man; those, therefore, who keep well within 
the requirements of common honesty are not 
transg^ssors, and have nothing to repent of. 
Within those requirement? there is room for a 
great deal of indifference and hard-hearted dis- 
regard for the welfare of our neighbors. And 
I think that those who scrupulously keep to the 
letter of their contracts, who always pay their 


debts, who can never be accused of misrepresen- 
tation or fraud, but who, standing on these 
principles of common honesty, push their advan- 
tages relentlessly, and are willing to profit by 
the misfortune or the ignorance of those with 
whom they deal, are rather worse hated, in their 
generation, than the recognized sharpers and 
swindlers. This may seem a hard judgment, 
but there is a profound reason for it. For the 
conception of the divine Fatherhood, which has 
been gaining possession of the mind of Chris- 
tendom, has greatly modified our ideas of obli- 
gation and sin, and our ideals of character. 
The discord between the selfish soul and the 
Father whose name is love is seen to be a far 
more serious thing than disobedience to a Moral 
Governor whose reign consists in the mainte- 
nance of rectoral righteousness. The same in- 
sight shows us what is the root of all the trouble 
between ourselves and our fellow men. "The/ 
huge disease of society," says Dr. Horton, "is 
.caused by the lovdessness of men," — not by 
their dishonesty or their perfidy. When we 
realize that the essence of sin is the defect of 
love, there is a new standard of judgment by 
which to measure human character, and there 
are many who fall before it. The trouble with 
these pious folk who have incurred the ill-will 
of their neighbors is simply this, — that they 



have kept the whole law, as the Pharisees kept 
it, and yet have offended at one point, as the 
Pharisees offended, — that one point being pre- 
cisely the vital point, in which the whole Chris- 
tian morality originates. What they lack is 
simply the love which is the fulfilling of the 
law. Their Christian experience is, therefore, 
radically defective, because they have had no 
due sense of sin and have never thoroughly re- 
pented. And the reason of this is found in the 
failure to bring home to them the truth concern- 
ing their social relations. They have practi- 
cally ignored their most fundamental obligation, 
because they have not conceived of Christian 
experience as involving social relations. 

The social question, as it now presents itself, 
— the social injustice and disorder and discon- 
tent are due, in my judgment, very largely to 
the lack of clearness in the minds of Christian 
people at this very point. Not many of them 
have yet fully comprehended the fact that the 
law of love governs the whole of life; that it 
defines our relations to men not only in the home 
and in the church, but in industry and com- 
merce and politics. Many of them flatly deny 
that the law of love can be applied to the ordi- 
nary social relations; most of them make but 
feeble attempts to rule their lives by it, in the 
larger realms of human activity. When we 


say, therefore, that if all men were "soundly 
converted " there would be no social question, 
we must bear in mind the fact that no man can 
be said to be soundly converted who fails to 
tmderstand or to obey the law of love. Con- ^ 
version is something more than a change in the 
religious sentiments; it involves a change in 
the ruling ideas as well as in the sensibilities^ 
"Change your minds! " is the first order. This 
means that there is a system of relations in 
which you with all other beings are included; 
the fimdamental trouble with you is that you 
are out of your place in that system, and that 
you have wrong ideas about it all; you must get 
right ideas, and through right ideas you must 
get into right relations. Salvation is just that~^ 
— getting into right relations; and no man is 
in the way of salvation until he has in some ; 
dim way grasped that idea, and tried to real-J 
ize it. 

It IS clear, then, that the view of the Chris- 
tian life which puts the whole emphasis upon 
individual experience is seen to result in defec- 
tive conduct and in morbid social conditions. 
And I have no doubt that the defective conduct 
of which we have spoken, and the unhappy so- 
cial conditions which have resulted therefrom, 
have been due in considerable measure to an 
excessive emphasis upon individual experience, j 


and a failure to give proper weight to the social 
relations and obligations, in the fulfillment of 
which alone the Christian life can find expres- 

It may be said that the defects which I have 

pointed out are, after all, only the defects of 

individuals, and can be remedied only by the 

^tion of individuals. This is true; but the 

\defective conduct of these individuals is in their 

bial relations. Their defective conduct can- 
be remedied unless they have the right ideas 
as well as the right feelings about their social 
relations. The social ideal, as well as the indi- 
vidual ideal, must be clearly before their minds ; 
indeed, the two can no more be separated in 
Christian morality than the outside of a curve 
can be separated from the inside. The moral- 
ity which separates them is something other 
than Christian morality. No individual can be 
right with his God who is not in right relations 
to his neighbors. And it is doubtful whether 
any individual can have any adequate idea of 
his relation to God except as he learns it in the 
fulfillment of his relations to his fellow men. 
"He that loveth not his brother whom he hath 
seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen." 
"Belief in God," says President Hyde, "is 
something no logician can argue into us, no 
apologist can prove; any more than by arguing 


the logician can satisfy our hunger if we have 
no food, or the apologist can assuage our thirst 
if we refuse to drink the water that he offern. 
The bread aAd the water of the spiritual life 
are the doing of one's duty and the service of 
our fellows; and without these elements one can 
never have the life of fellowship with God, of 
which they are the indispensable constituents. 
Faith in a living God, in other words, must 
be wrought out of our own moral and spiritual 
experience. The man who gains it in that 
way, by doing his work as a member of a great 
spiritual order, and serving his feUow men as 
members of the same great kingdom of which 
he is a part, comes to know God with the same 
certainty that the fish knows the water, the bird 
the air, or any living thing the environment in 
which it lives and moves and has its being." ^ 

It is this spiritual order through which God 
is revealed to man, and through which man ap- 
proaches God. There can be no adequate know- 
ledge of God save that which is mediated 
through this spiritual order which is the social 

All these considerations seem to make it plain 
that there is no possibility of separating the 
individual from society, and drawing a line be- 
tween individual experience and social responsi- 

1 OocTs Education of Man, p. 22. 






bility. A great economist has said that in the 

\modern industrial world there is, in strictness, 

no such thing as an individual; and if this is 

/true of economics, it cannot be less true of eth- 

'ics and religion. When the fundamental fact 

of theology is the fact of fatherhood, the fact of 

brotherhood cannot be ignored in any phase of 

\jeligious experience. 

Any treatment of social questions which failed 
to bring the responsibility for right social ac- 
tions home to individuals would, indeed, be 
defective treatment; on the other hand, any dis- 
cussion of the problems of the individual life 
which did not keep the social environment 
steadily in view would be utterly inadequate. 

I am therefore unable to understand how 
Christianity, whether as a law or as a gospel, 
can be intelligently or adequately preached or 
lived in these days without a constant reference 
to social questions. No individual is soundly 
converted until he comprehends his social rela- 
tions and strives to fulfill them; and the work 
of growth and sanctification largely consists in 
a clearer apprehension of these relations and a 
more earnest effort to fill them with the life of 
the divine Spirit. The kingdom of heaven is 
within us and among us; the preposition, in 
Christ's saying, seems to have the double mean- 
ing. It cannot be among us unless it is within 


US, and it cannot be within ns without being 
among us. 

It would seem, therefore, that the minister's 
work, in these days, must lie, very largely, along 
the lines of socM^Qxelii^iration. He is bound to 
understand the laws of social structure. It is 
just as needful that he should understand the 
constitution of human society as that he should 
understand the constitution of the human soul; 
the one comes imder his purview no less directly 
than the other. He does not know definitely 
what sin is, imless he imderstands the nature 
of the social bond; he does not surely know 
what salvation means until he has comprehended 
the reciprocal action of society upon the indi- 
vidual and of the individual upon society. The 
men who are working out their own salvation 
are doing it largely through the establishment 
of right relations between themselves and their 
neighbors, and he cannot help them in this un- 
less he has some clear idea of what these right 
relations are. 

I am aware that there have been good men to 
whom these social aspects of the work of the 
ministry did not strongly appeal. Our own Dr. 
Dale of Birmingham, England, was one of the 
wisest and strongest of our Congregational min- 
isters ; and he was inclined to deprecate all at- 
tempts to unite social enterprises with the work 



of the church. To what extent he preached on 
such subjects I do not know, — I think not 
often ; and he did not approve of enlisting the 
church, as such, in schemes of social ameliora- 
tion. He thought the chutch ought to be in- 
/^pired, from the pulpit, with the enthusiasm of 
humanity, which would lead its members to en- 
gage actively in social service; but he did not 
I consider the church itseU a fitting instrument 
\for such service. Dr. Dale himself was a most 
active and zealous worker in many social re- 
forms; he was a member of the great national 
commission by which the present system of 
public primary education was organized ; he 
was recognized as one of the most influential 
leaders of the Liberal Party; he was one of 
the foremost citizens of Birmingham. His con- 
duct shows, therefore, what relation he thought 
a Christian man and a Christian minister ought 
to sustain to current social questions. All that 
he intended to discountenance was the enlistment 
of the church in this kind of service. These 
are his words. He is speaking of the contention 
that the church should interest itself in social 
questions : — 

^^ If all that is meant is that Christian men as 
citizens should do their utmost to improve the 
social and economic condition of the people, 
there is nothing new in the proposal. For thirty 


years I have been preaching that doctrine, and 
according to my strength and light have been 
endeavoring to practice it. Nor have Christian 
men generally been indifferent to the duty. In 
the agitation which secured the great though 
imperfect Education Act of 1870, — an Act 
which has achieved an immense improvement in 
the condition of great masses of the people, — 
a large proportion of the men who did most of 
the work, and who encountered most of the 
obloquy which has to be endured by all reform- 
ers, were ministers and members of churches in 
Birmingham and other parts of England. But 
we did our work as citizens. Our churches, as 
I remember, were not asked to pass resolutions 
in favor of a system of education, ' national, 
compulsory, unsectarian, and free,' nor did we 
mak^ collections for the League. I believe that 
the work was best done in that way. The\ 
church should create in all its members an eager i 
desire to lessen the sorrow, the suffering, and j 
the injustice as well as the sin of the world; ; 
but it is not yet clear to my mind that the 
church, as a religious society, should take part 
in political, social, and economic agitation."^ 

There is, indeed, some good reason for doubt- 
ing whether local churches should turn them- 

^ The International Gongfregational Council, London, 1891, 
Authorized Record of Proceedings, pp. xxxi, zzziit 




selves into clubs for any sort of political or 
social propagandism ; these are questions upon 
which there are apt to be differences of opinion, 
and a church would better not undertake any 
kind of active work in which its members can- 
not pretty unanimously agree. It is doubtless 
better that organizations should be formed out- 
side the churches, bringing together men of 
good-will from all the churches, for the pro- 
motion of temperance, and municipal reform, 
and other general social interests. These move- 
ments, as Dr. Dale suggests, the churches 
should inspire, and the members of the churches 
will do a considerable portion of their Christian 
work in them. 

But how is the church to ^^ create in its mem- 
^bers an eager desire to lessen the sorrow, the 
suffering, and the injustice as well as the sin 
of the world?" Can this be done by purely 
abstract teaching? Must not the church en- 
courage its minister to keep it well informed 
respecting these conditions? Must not the pul- 
pit, in wise proportion, set forth the law of love, 
as it applies to the institutions and the customs 
of society, and show what evils result from its 
violation, and what blessings flow from obeying 
it? I do not understand how the church can 
inspire its members to perform their social du- 
ties, imless the church is thoroughly interested 


in the whole subject, and feels that its religion 
is vain, if it be not pouring a stream of saving 
influence into all the various channels of social 

I find in an essay by one of the most thought- 
ful and judicious of modern writers another 
warning against the kind of preaching which I 
am advocating, to which I desire to draw your 
attention : — 

"To what extent is the Christianity preached 
to be an applied Christianity? In what way 
and to what extent are the social, the economi- 
cal, and the political questions of the hour to 
be dealt with by the preacher? Apostolic Chris- 
tianity offers an answer which it were well if 
our own day would carefully restudy. We find 
in the primitive church a complete absence of 
what may be called the ordinary social, economi- 
cal, and political propaganda. The conditions 
in these respects were in all conscience bad 
enough, but they did not form the subject of 
Christ's or the apostles' preaching. Slavery 
existed, and in the most cruel form, but no anti- 
slavery crusade was set afoot. Judea was a 
crushed nationality, but these Jewish exhorters 
had nothing to say about a political redemption. 
One saw everywhere the extremest poverty, but / 
the disciples never interested themselves in the | 
principles of ' The Wealth of Nations.' Why 




was this ? The lesson has been strangely mis- 
understood, and by more than one side. In 
some quarters the facts are used to show the 
utter impracticability of Christianity as a sys- 
tem of life ; in others to show that the only true 
follower of Christ is the self-renouncing monk. 
Both are wrong. The reason why primitive 
^ Christianity had no specific anti-slavery, anti- 
poverty, anti-despotism propaganda lay in no 
sense in the fact that it acquiesced in slavery 
^ or poverty or despotism. Actually it was the 

enemy of them all, and in the end will be fatal 
to them all. The primitive silence on these 
I matters lay in the fact to which we need to-day 
/ to give our fullest attention, that the new thing 
which Christianity had brought in was of infi- 
nitely more value to life than all these, and its 
propagation accordingly of far more importance. 
^ I If only the pulpit would believe it! When the 
preacher has become merely political, it is be- 
cause he has lost grip of religion. As long as 
this last is vital in him, he cannot help seeing 
that it is of infinitely more political and social 
and economical value than any politics or social- 
isms or economics. To Paul it was so much 
more worth while to make a slave a Christian 
than to agitate for his freedom! There will 
always be enough and to spare of politicians; 
what the world really wants is men who have 


news from the land of the ideal, who have God's 
life within them, who open afresh the springs of 
living water that quench the thirst of the soid." ^ 

I have quoted at length this impressive pro- 
test, because it is the strongest statement I have 
read of the objection we are considering. We 
shall all do well to give earnest heed to it. 

One point of the argument is familiar, but it 
has less force than is sometimes supposed. The I 
fact that Jesus and his apostles did not deal > 
with social questions in their political aspects : 
may be explaiped by the fact that those to 
wjiqm they spoke had no political responsibili- ! 
ties. They were ;iot ^tizens, they were sub- ; 
jects; to preach politics to them would be like ' 
preaching about dancing to people with ampu- 
tated limbs. If the followers of Jesus had been 
sovereigns, men clothed with political responsi- 
bility, probably he would have had something 
to say to them about their political duties. The / 
men to whom you and I preach are sovereigns, " 
— the sovereign people ; voters in this country 
are "the powers that be;" they are ordained^ 
of God to organize and administer civil society, 
and they need instruction about their duties. 
The affirmative considerations which this writer 
urges are, however, of deep signiiBcance, as we 

^ Rev. J. Brierley) in London Christian Worlds July 25, 


shall presently see. Nor am I sure that he 
would not assent to most of what I have been 
trying to urge. A little further on in the same 
essay I find him saying this :^ 

"That the church is the representative of the 
eternal in the midst of time does not, however, 
absolve it from a heavy responsibility in rela- 
tion to the things of time. Its message will 
have these continually within its scope, but ever 
to bring them under its own light, to view them 
8uh specie cetemitatis. The pulpit cannot be 
silent on sins, whether national or individual, 
that are destroying spiritual life; no, not 
though it suffers as did a Qhrysostom at Con- 
stantinople or a Savonarola at Florence. But 
when men speak on these themes, they must have 
a call. The true prophet knows that his mes- 
sage has been given to him, and that it must be 
spoken at all hazards. The question of pulpit 
speech or silence on a given theme depends so 
much on who is in the pulpit. No man should 
speak on disputed points who has not first 
earned the right to speak; a right centred in 
the trust and esteem of his hearers, and gained 
as the wage of character or service."^ 

This last admonition cannot be too strongly 
emphasized. Let no man speak on these themes 

^ Rey. J. Brierley, in London Christian World, July 25, 


who has not qualified himself by careful study; 
who does not thoroughly know what he is talk- 
ing about. There is a great deal of crude 
preaching on social questions, the whole effect 
of which is mischievous. I have known men 
to prepare themselves, by two or three months' 
study, to give courses of lectures on these themes 
before theological seminaries. Every week I am 
receiving letters from ministers, who say that 
they have given no attention to such subjects, 
and who wish me to put them in possession of 
material for sermons or addresses to be delivered 
within a week or two. The breadth and com- 
plexity of these social questions are but dimly 
apprehended by many who dabble in them. 
This is no reason for avoiding them ; but it is a 
reason for making diligent preparation to speak 
upon them. Many of the subjects on which we 
must speak call for patient and thorough study ; 
to evade them because of their di£Giculty would 
be infidelity to our trust; we must earnestly seek 
to master them. 

With the work of the leading modem econoH 
mists and sociologists every* minister ought to ' 
be acquainted. Not that he is to preach eco- 
nomics or sociology ; but he needs to be familiar 
with the constructive ideas on which these sci- 
ences are based, and with the facts by which j 
they are supported. In the work of some of^ 


these students of society he will find much that 
will greatly aid him, for there are not a few of 
them to whom the larger aspects of these pro- 
blems are fully revealed. But the Christian 
student must always be on his guard against a 
pseudo-science which ignores the spiritual realm, 
and bases social laws upon an induction in which 
the larger half of human nature is neglected. 
^A. good deal of economic theory rests upon a 
purely materialistic foundation; upon assump- 
> tions which deny human freedom, and the play 
of the moral forces; upon the notion that the 
laws of human nature are of the same order as 
those of gravitation and chemical affinity. The 
fact for you and me to keep steadily before us 
is that human society is under the sway of spir- 
j itual motives; that it is constantly undergoing 

renovation through the ideals which men enter- 
tain and the choices which they make; that hu- 
man nature is modifiable, and is constantly be- 
ing modified, under the influence of the divine 
Spirit, so that social standards and ruling ideas 
are gradually changing from generation to gen- 
eration. This is not mere sentiment; it is the 
^ scientific fact, the historic fact, just as verifiable 
as any law of chemistry or biology, and we are 
to take our stand upon it, and insist upon inter- 
preting the phenomena of society in the light of 
the spiritual laws. With the politics and the 


economics which are separated from the spirit- 
ual realm and which rest, whether avowedly or 
implicitly, upon a materialistic basis, we have 
nothing to do, except to show their defective- 
ness. But if we need to study the heresies of 
past and present ages in order that we may be 
able, under the cross-lights of this investigation, 
more clearly to apprehend the truth of Chris- 
tianity, there is certainly no less need that we 
should be familiar with defective theories of 
social relations, in order that we may the better 
understand the true theory which supplements 
and corrects them. And as in the study of 
the heresies we always find some truth which 
we need to know, so in our study even of mate- 
rialistic economics we shall discover many facts 
of deep significance. 

The truth which Mr. Brierley emphasizes in 
the passage which I last read is the truth which 
we must never forget. The church, he says, 
will have these social subjects "continually 
within its scope, but ever to bring them under 
its own light, to view them sub specie cetemi- 
tatis.^^ Yea, verily. We have absolutely no 
business whatever with any of these things ex- 
cept as they are vitally and inseparably related 
to that kingdom of heaven for whose coming we 
pray, whose presence we ought to be quick to 
discern, and whose spread it is our first business 



to seek. "When the minister has become 
merely political," says Mr. Brierley, "it is be- 
cause he has lost grip of religion." That pro- 
position ought to require no argument. The 
minister who has become merely or mainly po- 
litical, or sociological, or economical, or scien- 
tific, has abandoned his vocation. The minister 
to whom religion is not the central and culmi- 
nating power in all his teaching has no right 
, in any Christian pulpit. It is the religion of 
Upolitics, of economics, of sociology that we are 
V '|to teach, — nothing else. We are to bring the 
'/truths and the powers of the spiritual world, 
^the eternal world, to bear upon all these themes. 
I This is what we have to do with these social 
/questions, and we have nothing else to do with 

The first thing for us to understand is that 
X^rv^tf.^ -z' Gpd is in his world, and that we are workers 
V" ' together with him. In all this industrial strug- 

gle he is present in every part of it, working 
according to the counsel of his perfect will. 
In the gleams of light which sometimes break 
forth from the darkness of the conflict we dis- 
cern his inspiration; in the stirrings of good- 
will which temper the wasting strife we behold 
the evidence of his presence; in the sufferings 
and losses and degradations which wait upon 
every violation of his law of love we witness the 


retributions with which that law goes armed. 
In the weltering masses of poverty ; in the giddy 
throngs that tread the paths of vice ; in the mul- 
titudes distressed and scattered as sheep having 
no shepherd; in the brutalized ranks marching 
in lock-step through the prison yard; in the 
groups of politicians scheming for place and 
plunder, — in all the most forlorn and untoward 
and degrading human associations, the One 
who is never absent is that divine Spirit which 
brooded over the chaos at the beginning, nurs- 
ing it to life and beauty, and which is 

" nearer to every creature he hath made, 
Than anything unto itself can be/' 

Nay, there is not one of these hapless, sinningl 
multitudes in whose spirit he is not present to 
will and to work according to his good plea- 
sure; never overpowering the will, but gently, 
pressing in, by every avenue open to him, hisi 
gifts of love and truth. As he has for evei^ 
man's life a plan, so has he for the common life 
a perfect social order into which he seeks to 
lead his children, that he may give them plenty 
and blessedness and abimdance of peace as long 
as the moon endureth. Surely he has a way for 
men to live in society; he has a way of organ- 
izing industry; he has a way of life for the 
family, and for the school, and for the shop, and 
for the city, and for the state; he has a way for 



preventing poverty, and a way for helping and 
saving the poor and the sick and the sinful; 
and it is his way that we are to seek and point 
out and follow. We cannot know it perfectly, 
but if we are humble and faithful and obedient, 
we shall come to understand it better and better 
as the years go by. The one thing for us to be 
sure of is that God has a way for human beings 
to live and work together, just as truly as he 
has a way for the stars over our heads and the 
crystals under our feet; and that it is man's 
chief end to find this way and follow it. 

"What the world really wants," says the 
teacher I have quoted, "is men who have news 
from the land of the ideal, who have God's life 
within them, who open afresh the springs of 
living water that quench the thirst of the soul." 
Nothing can be truer. But for what kind of 
news from the land of the ideal are men hun- 
I gering and thirsting? For the news that brings 
the ideal down to earth; that makes it no mere 
^ dreamy possibility of ^ar-off good, but the lamp 
■of our feet and the light of our path now and 
I here. For all this common life of ours there 
'are ideals that uplift and transfigure and enno- 
ble it. There is an ideal for the home and for 
the church, for the school and for the shop, 
for the factory and for the city; and the one 
refreshing and inspiring experience of life is to 


get sight of it, and believe in it. The ideal in 
all these social organizations is nothing else but 
God's way, — the way that he has ordained for 
human beings to live and work together. The 
thing for us to do is first to discern it ourselves, 
and then to get men to see it, and believe in it, , 
and work for it with heart and soul and mind^ 
and strength. It will not be realized all at 
once; it will take long years of labor and pa- 
tience; but it is the 

" far-off divine eyent 
To which the whole creation moyes,*' 

and we know that there can be no permanent 
peace or welfare but that to which it beckons us. 
I trust, my brethren, that I have made plain 
to you my own deep conviction that the work 
of the ministry in these days must be deeply 
concerned with social questions. I trust that 
you wiU all find in your own hearts a growing 
interest in these questions, and that you will be 
able to commimicate that interest to the people 
to whom you are sent; to kindle in their hearts 
the enthusiasm of humanity, and to guide them 
in their thoughts and labors for their fellow 
men. And I trust that you can also see that 
this social teaching and social service is not 
something outside of religion; that religion is 
and must be the heart and soul of it all; that it 


"v.— -^ • 

means nothing but religion coming to reality in 
everj4^ lifos the divine ideal descending upon 
human society and transforming it from glory 
to glory, even as by the spirit of Hib Lord. If 
there is any treatment of social questions in the 
pulpit which has any other aim or inspiration 
than this, I have no faith in it. If any min- 
ister thinks that he can wisely separate these 
questions from religion and treat them upon tire 
basis of economic theory or political expediency, 
I do not agree with him. I do not, for my own 
part, expect to see any radical or permanent 
cure discovered for poverty or pauperism, for 
grinding monopoly or municipal corruption, for 
bribery or debauchery or crime, except as men's 
minds and hearts are opened to receive the 
truths of the spiritual world; except as they are 
brought into conscious and vital relations with 
things unseen and eternal. There can be no 
adequate social reform save that which springs 
from a genuine revival of religion ; only it must 
be a religion which is less concerned about get- 
ting men to heaven than about fitting them for 
I their proper work on the earth; which does not 
set itself over against the secular life in con- 
traist, but enters into the secular life and sub- 
dues it by its power and rules it by its law, and 
transfigures it by its light. For any other kind 


of religion than this I do not think that the 
world has any longer very much use. 

May God fill your lives with it, and teach 
you how to bring home its truth and reality to 
the hearts of men. 



The social question which is likely first to 
present itself to the mind of the conscientious 
pastor is the condition and needs of the poor 
who live within the territory for whose care as 
pastor he feels himself responsible. It may be 
that he will find a small number of poor families 
connected with his congregation, but there is 
reason to fear that the number of really needy 
families will be very small indeed in almost any 
congregation to which you are likely to be 
called. If when Jesus said, "The poor ye have 
always with you," he meant, "in your churches," 
his prediction is not, in our day, generally ful- 
filled. The reason of this is, in part, that the 
greater number of the really needy have be- 
come so by reason of defective moral conduct 
which, according to our Congregational theory of 
church-membership, would exclude them from 
the fellowship of the church. Yet there is also, 
I fear, a serious failure on the part of most of 
our churches to comprehend the full meaning of 
the Parable of the Lost Sheep, and to put forth 


the kind of effort in seeking and saving the lost 
which Jesus expects of his disciples. 

So far as the poor have been drawn into the 
fellowship of the church and surrounded by its 
saving influences, the care of them has ceased to 
be a social question. Respecting your relation 
to them you have been instructed in your lec- 
tures on pastoral theology. It is the poor who 
are outside all churches, or but slenderly con- 
nected with them, of whom we are thinking now. 
We have them always near us, if not with us; 
and the relation of the minister and the church 
to this multitude distressed and scattered, as 
sheep not having a shepherd, presents a serious 
problem to every young minister. 

When I speak of the poor I mean those who 
are living, much of the time, in destitution and 
penury; who are frequently out of work, and 
suffering for lack of the necessaries of life; who . 
are apt to apply to charitable agencies, or to the 
officers of the city or the town, for assistance. 
That the proportion of this class to the entire 
population has been rapidly increasing since the ; 
civil war, there can be no doubt. Statistics ouj 
the subject are unsatisfactory, owing to the lack 
of uniformity in the methods by which they are 
compiled ; but my own pretty careful observa- 
tion, in a ministry covering this entire period, 
convinces me that such is the case. 



The reasons for this mcrease are not far to 

The rapid shifting of industries, by which 
many laborers are displaced, and the frequent 
periods of industrial depression have thrown 
, many temporarily out of employment; in such 
enforced leisure, habits of idleness and depend- 
ence are formed which tend to become chronic* 

The multiplication of machinery, the concen- 
tration of business, and the stress of icompetition 
are driving the entire industrial mechanism at 
a greatly accelerated speed, and only the most 
efficient and adaptable are wanted; laborers of 
low intelligence and little skill find it increas- 
ingly difficult to keep in the movement; they 
are flung off, in large numbers, and left to the 
care of charity. 

The growth of wealth in the hands of those 
who are more compassionate than judicious also 
tends to propagate dependence and poverty; 
the presence in any community of a consider- 
able fund of money, and superfluous food, and 
partly worn clothing, ready to be distributed, 
without careful investigation, by impulsive and 
sentimental givers, constitutes an effective de- 
mand for mendicancy, and the supply is unfail- 

The increasing number of charitable funds 
and institutions has the same effect. The know- 


ledge that those in any given'oommunity who 
can make out a fairly good case of destitu- 
tion will receive aid draws to that community 
the shiftless and improvident from the country 
roimd about. In the city where I live I can 
name quite a number of families that have been 
added to our population within the last twenty 
years for this reason. In their country homes 
they were well known, and their claims upon 
compassion would have been more sharply ques- 
tioned ; the city offered a much more promis- 
ing opportunity to those who were willing to be 

We may add to these causes the loose admin- 
istration of public outdoor relief in most of our 
cities. That the public funds for the relief of 
the poor in their homes are distributed generally 
upon wholly inadequate investigation, and some- 
times with ooiTupt intent, - to reward party ser. 
vices or to gain votes, — is not to be doubted. 

What may be called the natural causes of 
poverty are always at work — sickness, accident, 
inherited infirmity, or disability; but we have 
been considering the reasons for the propor* 
tumal increase in the number of dependents; 
and we find these reasons, partly in unwonted 
economic disturbances, partly in injudicious 
charity, and partly in bad political administra- 
tion. Some of these causes are at least in part 



removable, as we shall see in subsequent discus- 

But whatever the causes may be, the condi- 
tions confront us everywhere. The statisticians 
tell us that our wealth per capita has been 
mounting up, decade by decade, with almost in- 
credible rapidity, but the number of dependents 
gains upon the population. In every consider- 
able community there are those who derive part 
if not all of their subsistence from public or 
private charity. Even the smaller cities have 
their slums, where the conditions of life are most 
.depressing, and groups of the miserable are 
Ijwithin the sound of most of our church bells* 
With these, it is evident, we have some im- 
portant business. However they came to be 
I where they are, they are there, within our reach, 
land they need our help. It matters not at all 
Iwhether they are worthy or unworthy — unless 
it be that the unworthy have the stronger claim; 
it was the unworthy, rather than the worthy, 
that Christ came to call. 

The care of these destitute and dependent 
persons has been generally relegated by the 
churches to the public authorities or the charity 
organizations. In treatises on pastoral theology, 
the responsibility of the church for work of this 
kind has commonly been disclaimed or ignored. 
It is doubtless true, as we shall see, that a large 



part of this work may be done through the 
cooperation of the church either with other 
churches or with charitable societies. But much 
may be done by the l ocal chu rch, on its own im- 
pulse, and without waiting for any. Indeed, i\ 
am inclined to believe that if the local churches 
were alive to their opportunity, the greater part 
of this work would l^ done by them: m the best 
possible way. 

The thing for the church to aim at is to pul^ 
itself into relations of personal friendship withi , 
as many families of this dependent class as it 
can reach and care for. The aim of the Boston 
Associated Charities, as its distinguished presi- 
dent has told us in a memorable phrase, is to 
provide for every poor family a friend. The 
whole meaning and value of the true charity is 
in that phrase. And what the Associated Chari- 
ties thus proposes should be the definite aim of 
every Christian church — to provide for every 
poor family that it can reach one wise, faithful, 
sympathetic friend. 

The acquaintance of these families is best 
made through some Sunday-school, or sewing- 
school, into which the children are first gathered. 
If the church is happily situated, as miqe is, in 
the heart of the city and in the midst of a popu- 
lation needing ministry of this kind, then the 
church can call into its own buildings the chil- 


dren of these poor families, and make its own 
consecrated temple a point of attraction for 
them. If the church is not thus fortunately 
located, it may be necessary for it to find quar- 
ters for work of this kind in closer proximity to 
the needy field. 

The children, thus gathered, are to be consid- 
ered not mainly as subjects of Biblical or indus- 
trial instruction, though that is not to be neg- 
lected, but mainly as human beings in need of 
friendship, to whom, and to whose households, 
this device has opened the door. Some of their 
mothers will come with them, and now and then 
a father will appear, leading his child by the 
hand. By this means the church will be able 
to put itself into direct relations with a certain 
number of families of the very poor. For this 
service it will need a volunteer band of friendly 
visitors, the most cultivated, the most wise, the 
most consecrated men and women in its mem- 
bership. The Sunday-school teachers cannot 
begin to do this work; for each Sunday-school 
teacher or sewing-school teacher may have half 
a dozen or a dozen families represented in her 
class, and the best results are gained in this 
friendly visiting when no visitor has more than 
one family to care for. This makes the matter 
more individual; the visitor cannot have the 
feeling that she is doing wholesale work, — that 


she is dealing with a class; she is simply the 
friend of this family; the relation between her- 
self and them is more apt to become what it 
ought to be, a strictly personal relation. I am 
using the feminine pronouns, because they are 
likely to be more frequently applicable; but this 
work ought not to be confined to women; in 
many cases men can do it quite as efficiently, 
and for their own sakes the men of the churches 
ought to have a large part in it. 

The purpose of this visitation should be kept 
as far as possible from the lines of ordinary 
ahnsgiviBg Ca^es wiU arise in which materM 
aid must be given, but this is not the main ob- 
ject, and should be kept wholly in the back- 
ground. Indeed, it will be better if the visitor 
contrive to have such aid, when it is needed, 
reach the family through other hands than his 
own. He wants to be a friend, more than an 
almoner. If the cause of the poverty is lack 
of employment, or incapacity, or discourage- 
ment, or what we might call moral prostration, 
— which is, I fear, a prevalent malady, — their 
deepest need is spiritual, not material; they 
want friendship even more than food and coal; 
they must be helped to get on their feet and 
support themselves; work must be found for 
them; their hope and self-respect must be stim- 
ulated; the door of opportunity must be opened 
and held open before them. 


This work of the friendly visitor is the heart 
and life of all the most intelligent charity of this 
day. The organized charities have learned to 
emphasize it and rely upon it; the best forms 
of state aid, as, for example, those which prevail 
in the German cities, make it fundamental. 
The one thing needful in all these efforts to res- 
cue and elevate the dependent classes is the 
touch of life upon life, the awakening of hope 
and courage, the invigoration of character. The 
high calling of the charity-worker is nothing 
less than the salvation of souls — that is, of men 
and women and children — for these are the 
only souls we know. To save a soul from ruin 
is simply to save a man or woman from ruin ; 
and the character is the thing to be saved. The 
mere relief of physical suffering or want which 
does not have the effect to restore and strengthen 
the manhood and womanhood is a superficial 
and temporary service. "It may appear," says 
Mr. Alfred T. White of Brooklyn, a wise and 
devoted laborer in this great field, "a slow pro- 
cess to eliminate poverty piece by piece from 
our great cities, and it is natural to long for 
some quicker way ; but there is no way which 
does not reach to and touch the character of the 
individual poor." ^ 

If such is the essential character of the best 

^ Charities BevieWf April, 1893. 


work for the dependent classes, then the field is 
certainly wide open to the local church in every 
community. The less machinery and organiza- 
tion there is connected with it, the better. It 
is a work which calls for no constitution and 
by-laws, no minutes, no public meetings, no 
reports. You must find some discreet, large- 
hearted man or woman who will take charge of 
it, keeping a list of the families who need 
friends, and finding for each the friend who 
appears to be best adapted to this particular case. 
That is all there is to do. Friendship is not a 
matter of rules and regulations; this ambassa- 
dor of good-will must be permitted to find his 
own way into the confidence of the household 
thus committed to him, and must develop his 
friendship along individual lines. It might be 
well to put into the hands of each of these visit- 
ors some brief statement of the nature of the 
work like that published by the Brooklyn Bureau 
of Charities : — 

"It shall be the duty of a friendly visitor to 
visit the poor and distressed as a friend ; to ex- 
amine, in the spirit of kindness, the causes of 
their trouble ; to do what can be done to remove 
those causes; to become acquainted with the 
ability which each may have, and to aid in de- 
veloping it and in finding ways in which it may 
be employed in self-help; through friendly in- 


tercourse, sympathy, and direction to encourage 
self-dependence, industry, and thrift; to recom- 
mend whatever may be possible and wise to alle- 
viate the sufferings of those whose infirmities 
cannot be cured or removed; if material aid be 
necessary, to obtain it from existing organiza- 
tions as far as possible; and in every case to 
promote in all practical ways the physical and 
moral improvement of the families in the visit- 
or's charge." 

The member of the church who is superin- 
tending this work should watch to see that the 
visitors are keeping in contact with the families 
intrusted to them ; and there may be occasional 
private consultations and conferences among the 
visitors respecting the problems which arise; 
but there should be no public statements con- 
cerning their work; your friend does not go 
into a public meeting and recite what he knows 
about your personal and family affairs. 

It is not necessary to say that work of this 
kind will not all be well done. No kind of 
work that we attempt is uniformly weU done. 
There is a great deal of bungling and blun- 
dering and shirking in our best organizations. 
There is a great deal of poor preaching, and 
poor pastoral administration, and poor Sunday- 
school teaching, and poor financial management; 
the defects and failures of our best endeavors 


are alwayr id sight. This kind of work requires 
greater wisdom, truer insi p ;ht. finer character, 
than fllnfi oHt ^nythip g ftlftft that we attempt, Bn d 
it goes with out saying that there will be many 
c a^s in which" ^^ " t^w^^ft ft jailure or a ve ry 
in different success* So me of these visitors will 
lack the sympathy^the tact, the courage need- 
ful for their delicate business, and they will 
sooner or later abandon it, with pessimistic con- 
clusions as to the possibility of doing any good 
to the poor. But there will be others who will 
persevere and succeed; who wiU learn how, 
without violating the personality of those to 
whom they go, to establish confidential and 
helpful relations with them, and the gains of 
these friendships will not all be on the side of 
the visited. 

With families which are in this relation to 
the church much can be done to enlarge and 
brighten life. I know one church in which 
there are thirty or forty friendly visitors, each 
with her single family; and once a month the 
visitors and the mothers of these families meet 
in the parlors of the church for a social after- 
noon, drinking a cup of tea together and Usten- 
ing to a familiar talk from some woman physi- 
ci^ on health, or on the care of children, or on 
the preparation of food for the sick; or enjoy- 
ing the recital of some one's experiences of travel. 


or the reading of a story or a poem. Every 
other week, through the winter season, the same 
church offers in its chapel a free popular enter- 
tainment consisting of elementary lectures on 
science, with experiments; or a lantern exhibi- 
tion; or a practical talk about life, — all enliv- 
ened by the best music. These entertainments 
are crowded by the older children of the Sun- 
day-school and the sewing-school, with a goodly 
number of their parents and older brothers and 
sisters and neighbors. 

Thus does the church reach out, with human- 
izing and helpful influences, into the lives of 
those who are most in need of the grace that 
bringeth salvation. And I can think of no 
reason why work of this kind should not be 
undertaken, immediately, by every Christian 
church. Certainly it is the kind of work that 
our Lord would be doing if he were here; and 

iny group of disciples who are in close sympa- 
thy with him wiU find in their hearts an imme- 

iiate and irresistible desire to engage in service 

>f this kind. 

Doubtless many churches shrink from the 
thought of ministering to the poor because they 
are financially weak; it is difficult for them to 
meet their current expenses, and they think 
that they have no funds which could be used in 
such ministration. But it should be remem- 


bered that the kind of work here proposed does 
not inyolve any large expenditure. There are 
exceptional cases in which the visitor will need 
a little money or some form of material aid, 
but that can be obtained. If the visitor herself 
is not able to furnish it, she can find some one 
in the neighborhood who is both able and will- 
ing. There are few American communities in 
which supplies may not be promptly and easily 
found for any well-attested cases of need. There 
are multitudes of men and women who are more 
than willing to give, if they can be assured that 
their gifts will^ relieve suffering. The visitor 
who can bring any case of real destitution to 
the notice of some benevolent individual is in 
that way rendering a real service to him that 
gives as well as to him that receives. The 
church does not, then, need to provide any con- 
siderable fund for the relief of the poor, when 
it enters upon work of this kind. The existence 
of such a fund would be an embarrassment 
rather than an aid to its work. It is fr iendship, 
not alms tiiat it is andertaking to dispense; 
and no church is so poor that it cannot offe r 
feiendship to some of the friendless who live 
within its reach. ^ In truth, the most efficient 
aid which is given to the poor comes from those 
who themselves are poor. The sympathy and 
helpfulness which are always found among these 
lowly neighbors are beautiful to see* 


The fact that the revenues of a church are 
not large is not, then, a good reason why it 
should hesitate to commission and send forth 
a group of friendly visitors. It may be weU 
to remember that the first company which went 
forth on an errand of this nature consisted 
wholly of poor men, and that He who sent them 
forth was no richer than they. 

If all our Christian churches should accept 
this as part of their mission — to put them- 
selves in communication with as many needy 
families, outside their own membership, as 
they could find and wisely care for, I think that 
the problem of relief for the outside poor — 
for those who should be cared for in their 
homes, rather than in institutions — would be 
promptly solved. There are few American com- 
munities in which the churches are not numer- 
ous enough and strong enough to do this work 
without any serious effort. 

In the country at large there is about one 
church to every four hundred and twenty-five 
of the population. Except in the great indus- 
trial depressions, it would be hard to find an 
American community in which six per cent, of 
the population were dependent. If the average 
church is responsible for four hundred and 
twenty-five of the population, six per cent, of 
that number would be about twenty-five per- 


sons, or, perhaps, five families. The average 
church could undertake that amount of care, 
with no strain upon its resources. Nay, such 
an undertaking, in most cases, would replenish 
and invigorate its life, in every way; would 
mightily strengthen its hold upon the commu- 
nity; would give it a reason for its life which 
now it often lacks. 

If, however, the churches generally should 
take up work of this kind, it would at once be 
necessary for them to come to some understand- 
ing with one another about it. They would 
soon be crossing one another's tracks and dupli- 
cating one another's work. It would be need- 
ful that they should divide up the field among 
them, assigning to each church a definite dis- 
trict, in which it should be responsible for the 
care of its own poor, and of all poor families 
not belonging to other congregations. 

This seems to me the ideal way of taking care 
of the poor. I believe that the churches could 
do the work ; that it would not greatly tax their 
resources, if they did it in the right way ; that 
it would deepen and strengthen their Christian 
life ; that it would do more to shut the mouths 
of cavilers than all the arguments of all the 
apologists; that it would help to solve the ques- 
tion of reaching the churchless; that it would 
marvelously extend the influence and the use- 
fulness of the churches. 


I trust, therefore, my brethren, that you will 
keep this before you, in all your ministry, as 
the ideal method of caring for those of the poor 
who can be best assisted in their own homes. 
It may be a good while before we shall eet the 
ch urcL generaUyto accept this respon fibHily 
and to cooperate in bearing it; but I believe 
that the time will come^ and it may be nearer 
than we think. The deplorable inefficiency of 
most of the existing methods of public outdoor 
relief; the too obvious fact that by what we 
^ miscall charity multitudes are pauperized; tffe 
fearful losses ot character and manhood that we 
are suffering in this way, must at length bring 
home to the churches their duty in this matter. 
And the churches may be able to see that they 
need the work quite as much as the work needs 
them ; that they can only save their own life by 
losing it in such ministry as this. 

In some of our cities serious attempts have 
been made to work along this line. The most 
persistent and successful of these of which I 
have known is in Buffalo. The churches there 
have undertaken to divide the entire city among 
themselves, and to assign to each church a dis- 
trict, for the poor families of which it shall hold 
itseK responsible.^ Some smaller communities 
have adopted substantially the same plan. Pos- 

^ The Christian Pastor ^ p. 467, seq. 


Bibly the movements toward church federation 
which are now going forward, in various parts 
of the country, with considerable promise, may 
come to include this practical endeavor. I hope 
that many of you will live long enough to take 
part in a successful prosecution of some such 

But you may find it wise to content your- 
selves at the outset with methods which come 
short of this ideal. In the communities where 
you are called to labor, it may not be possible 
at once to revolutionize the methods of poor 
relief. You are likely to find in the larger 
places a variety of agencies already at work in 
this field. Societies for the collection and distri- 
bution of charitable relief exist in most of our 
cities; and there are soldiers' aid societies and 
beneficial organizations of various names, as well 
as churches, engaged in the same enterprise. 
Cooperation of all these agencies is greatly to 
be desired. It is of the greatest importance 
that all the charitable organizations at work in 
a given community should not only have a good 
understanding among themselves, but that each 
should have some knowledge of what the others 
are doing, and that al l should unite upon cer- 
tain principles of administration. If they work 
indep endently, the shiftless and unscrupulous 
mlTf^A ^Vifting elves the beneficiaries of s everal 





of them at once, and the y will breed imposture 
ana pauperism, it is absolutely necessary th at 
the charitable forces be united to p revent the 

E ^Eagat lon of pauperls ST — 

In many places you will find the charities 
thus organized, and you ought to give that 
enterprise your hearty and inteUigent support 
These charity organization societies do not re- 
ceive, in any community, the support they de- 
serve; in the minds of many sentimental people 
there is much prejudice against them. They are 
sometimes sneeringly called "societies for the 
prevention of charity," and it is, indeed, an 
important part of their work to prevent a 
great deal of miscalled charity. The amount of 
-i njury which is d one bv careless almsgiving is 
appalling. The gre a t majority of o ur Christian 
people look no further than the immediate relief 
o fjyhat seems to t hem sufFering^r need; their 
sensibilities are touched by a child in rags or 
a tale of woe ; a gift of money or food or fuel 
alleviates their own personal discomfort and 
mak es them feel virtuous, and thus by a ciole 
^tEey r elieve themselves wit hout thinking or car- 
ing much of what becomes of the receiver. The 
fact that they may be en*c6uHging^a]maBn^^^ 
co m6 a begg ar, or leadings sTchUdinta the ways 
or ruinj^ does not gp'eatly trouble them. W hat 
we call our charity is often the expression of 


On eof the subtlest and. mQ P^-. miaP.Tiiavnng ^ArrmJ 

of selfi shness. ^, 

You are likely to find, in the churches to 
which you will go, a good many people who 
need to be educated out of these sentime ntal 
notions about ch arity, and to be made to under- 
stand the principles upon which the work of 
charity organizations is carried on. These prin- 
ciples are, as I believe, for the most part, not 
only sound and expedient, they ^e thoroughly 
Christian. There may have been, in the ear- 
lier days, a little too much emphasis on the 
prevention of imposture and pauperism, but 
that disproportion, if it ever existed, has dis- 
appeared; whatever severities are practiced in 
these methods of administration are the severi- 
ties of a genuine l ave. The reason why modem 
charity- workers are so careful about the bestow- 
ment of material aid is that they value so 
highly the real welfare of those with whom they 
are dealing. They know that suffering is a far . 
less evil than moral deterioratiidn ; they would ] y 
c hoose for themaelves hunger or 'coId" "rather i^ 
t han the spirit of a mend icant ; and it is because 
t hey love their neighbors as themselves th at 
they make the same choice for them. 

'Ihls principle does not relieve "^the chariiy- 
worker of responsibility or labor; it adds to his 
load and doubles his task. It is an easy thing 


to telephone your grocer to 8epAj^JJJilJg^.JQgy 
and rice anSTf am and sugar and tea to the str eet 
number f rom which some su p pliant for aid has 
come t o your door; it is a very different thing 
to go over there, and get acquainted with that 
^mily, and ^nd out "aJTlibbu^nB&eir^cdiidition 
a nd^hei r nee3g;''aiid'feg"ca:ageygf^heir present 
des titution, to fin d work for those who can 
w ork^ to awa ken and stre ngthen the purpose of 
se lf-help, and Jiavi ng got- tfr^m on their f^P^t, to 
stand by them and cheer them on, and stimulate 
jnT^j^r^ay^Jheir fionragOagrSidependence> 
To such painstaking service as this the modem 
charity- worker is pledged, and it takes time and 
thought and love and long-suffering patience. 
He does not cavil at the command of Jesus, 
^Give to him that asketh thee, and from him 
that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away ; '^ 
he accepts the word, without reserve, and means 
to obey it. But he does not understand that 
command to mean that we must give, in all cases, 
the specific thing asked for. If a man asks for 
poison, or for a murderous weapon, or for a 
pure young life that he may pollute it, we are 
not to give the thing he craves. If he asks for 
money, and we are morally certain that he will 
use the money to degrade himself, we are not 
warranted by the command of Jesus in giving 
him the money. But if a man asks us to help 


him, and ve can see that he needs anyihmg that 
we are able to give him, we are pledged to sup- 
ply that need. His appeal to us warrants our 
interposition in his behalf. He has confessed 
that he needs our friendship, and we have a 
right to take him at his word. Our friendship 
he shall have, and we will do our best to make 
it a wise and saving friendship. The things 
that he really needs are the things that we will 
try to provide for him; they may not be the 
things which he craves; but it is to needs, not 
to cravings, that we are called to minister. 

These are the principles on which the modem 
charity is building. They are, as I have said, 
distinctively Christian principles. They involve 
what is central in Christianity — a supreme val- 
uation of character; a recognition of the fact 
t hat physical suffering is a far les sl^'m^ y 
moral degradation. There are a good many 
hundreds of thousands of people in all our 
churches who have, as yet, very feebly compre- 
hended these principles. There is need of much 
education by the pulpit along this line. The 
genuinely Christian work of the charity organi- 
zation visitors is often greatly crippled by the 
heedless almsgiviiig of lazy ohnrch members 
who feed tramps and give doles to beggars. An 
important part of your work will be to get a 
litde more intelligence into the heads and a 


little more conscience into the hearts of these 
v/ s entimentalists; to sliow tiiem wnat the Chris- 
tian law requires them to do to the neighbor 
who appeals to them for aid; and to bring them 
into a hearty cooperation with those who are 
working not merely to relieve immediate want, 
but to save men and women. 

Those members of your congregation who are 
themselves engaged in the work of the friendly 
visitor will, of course, be instructed in these 
things ; but it is highly important that the whole 
congregation be brought into sympathy and co« 
operation with efforts which are made for the 
systematic and intelligent administration of the 
charities of the entire community. The friendly 
visitor of the church is doing exactly the same 
kind of work that the charity organization soci- 
ety is doing. The friendly visitor is the right 
arm of the charity organization society. Some 
of the members of your churches may be work- 
ing under that society, and the methods of both 
should be essentially the same. 

Let me repeat, that the ideal organization 
of charity would be a compact union of all 
^ the Christian churches m every communi ty, 
Covering the entire field and making all other 
agencies for the care of the outside poor unne- 
cessary. Until this is accomplished, charity 
organization societies are necessary to unite and 


direct the various agencies occupying the field. 
With these organizations you should bring your 
church into hearty sympathy and cooperation; 
lending your members for its service, since it 
supplements the work which your church is 
doing. Your church should, however, at the 
same time, keep itseK in vital touch with the 
poor families of its neighborhood by its own 
corps of friendly visitors. 

I have alluded to the fact that the needs of 
the poor are in part supplied by public relief, 
dispensed by the town or the city or the county. 
This is of two kinds — indoor and outdoor re- 

Those who are permanently disabled and help- 
less, and who have no friends to whose care 
they may rightfully be committed, must be pro- 
vided with homes in the almshouses and infirma- 
ries. The children of broken families, in some 
of our states, are cared for in children's homes 
until other homes can be found for them, and 
this is a most wise and benign provision, for 
children should never be mixed with the adult 
paupers of an almshouse. For these institutions 
the state must needs provide; but the Christian 
people of every community ought to keep vigi- 
lant watch over them, to see that they are well 
governed. Indoor relief is the business of the 
state; the relation of the pulpit and the church 


to that is simply that of careful supervision, to 
see that the business is well done. 

With those who are in temporary straits be- 
cause of sickness or misfortune, and who should 
be cared for in their own homes, the case is some- 
what different. It is generally admitted in 
Christian countries that the state is under obli- 
gation to provide for such need; the laws recog- 
nize this obligation; part of the money raised 
by taxation is devoted to the relief of those tem- 
porarily in distress. The motive is humane. 
The incorporation in our law of the principle 
of brotherly kindness is a sign of the progress of 
the kingdom. But, in practice, this method of 
public outdoor relief has not been working very 
well in this country. In the smaller commu- 
nities its failure is less notable; in the larger 
towns and cities the abuses connected with it 
outweigh its benefits. The investigation of 
cases applying for aid is wholly inadequate; the 
idle and the thriftless and the vicious learn to 
depend upon it and are degraded by it; it is 
used, not seldom, by unscrupulous officials, as a 
means of controlling votes. The evils arising 
from the distribution of legal outdoor relief are 
often very grave. 

In Germany this does not appear to be the 
case. In all the German cities the work is thor- 
oughly systematized } the cities are divided into 


small districts, in each of which several of the 
most respectable and responsible men and wo- 
men are appointed and required to serve as vis- 
itors, so that the work of investigation and relief 
is done under the supervision of the public au- 
thorities with great care and thoroughness. In 
Berlin, for example, something like three thou- 
sand of the best citizens are employed as visitors 
of the poor. They receive no remuneration, but [ 
they are not permitted to decline such service; 
they accept it as one of their public obligations. 
If we could hope to get this kind of work done 
gratuitously and faithfully by Americans, the 
legal outdoor relief of the poor would be a sim- 
ple problem. But that, I fear, would be a vi- 
sionary expectation. In my own city of 125,000 
people, one man, who gives part of his time to 
the business, and receives a salary of $60 a 
month, is expected to do the entire work of in- 
vestigation — the cases on which he must decide 
including two or three thousand families every 
year. It is evident that funds administered in 
this way will be worse than wasted. 

What is to be desired is either that the city 
should abandon the work of outdoor relief, 
leaving it to the voluntary agencies, or else that 
it should enter into a close cooperation with 
these voluntary agencies, employing them to do 
the work of investigation, and administering i^ 
relief on their recommendation. 


tn quite a numben of our most important 
American cities, — New York, Philadelphia, and 
Baltimore among them, — the work of legal 
outdoor relief has been wholly abandoned. It 
may be supposed that this would have the effect 
to increase the number seeking refuge in the 
almshouses. The contrary seems to be the 
case. When Brooklyn, several years ago, cut 
off legal outdoor relief, the number of persons 
in the almshouses decreased, instead of increas- 
ing. The outdoor relief, as administered, was 
encouraging pauperism, was breeding paupers, 
in fact; when the city stopped that bad business, 
one of the sources from which her almshouses 
were supplied with their permanent population 
was dried up. The people who were learning 
to depend on charity were compelled to look 
out for themselves, and the habit of self-help to 
which they were coerced kept them out of the 

It is, however, difficult to bring many of our 
cities to the point of cutting off outdoor relief, 
and it is not always the case that the voluntary 
charities are so well organized that they could 
efficiently care for all the poor who need relief 
in their homes. But it is possible, in many 
cases, to bring about a cooperation between the 
charity organization society and the town or 
city authorities, so th^t the city shall make use 


of the voluntary agency in making its investiga- 
tions, and shall thus be enabled to do its work 
more intelligently and with less injury to the 
community. In Ohio the law now permits the 
officers having the distribution of the poor funds 
to employ the officers of the charity organization 
societies as their agents, and to govern them- 
selves in dispensing aid by the advice so given. 
This was done, whether with or without legal 
authorization I do not know, in the city of 
Springfield, Massachusetts, when I was living 
there ; and the result was not only a great re- 
duction in the cost of outdoor relief to the city, 
but a manifest decrease in the amount of pov- 
erty and beggary. No really needy cases were 
neglected, and a great multitude of idlers and 
shirkers were compelled to go to work. When 
the charity organization is efficient and the over- 
seers of the poor are reasonable, such a cooper- 
ation can be brought about with great gains of 
economy, of thrift, and of morality. It is one 
of the subjects concerning which every Chris- 
tian minister, as a leader of public opinion, 
ought to keep himself well informed, and one of 
the ends which, wherever it is practicable, he 
should endeavor to secure. 

In considering the relief of the poor in their 
homes, therefore, the thing to be aimed at is 
the transfer of this work as rapidly as possible, 


and to as great an extent as is possible, from 
the public authorities to voluntary agencies — 
either to churches or to organized charities. 
The reason is that the public authorities in this 
country, even when their intentions are good, 
are so few that they cannot adequately perform 
the work, and that it is a kind of work which 
cannot be well performed by state officials. It 
is a work, the very heart of which, as we have 
seen, is friendship. It can be well done only 
by those who have a deep and strong sense of 
spiritual values, of the supreme importance of 
character. It is essentially a work of redemp- 
tion, and it calls for love and service and sacri- 
fice. May God help us all to see how much 
there is for us to do in our ministry, in filling 
up that which is lacking of the afflictions of 
Christ, and in seeking and saving the lost. 



We have considered the importance of ex- 
tending and strengthening the voluntary agen- 
cies for the relief of the poor, and of transfer- 
ring to these agencies, so far as possible, the 
work now done for the outside poor by the state. 
There remains, howeyer, a work for the state 
to do, outside its abnshouses and its children's 
homes, in deaUng with the problem of poverty. 
There is a certain important work to be done 
which no voluntary organization can succeed in 
doing, — a work which requires the exercise of 
the power of the state. 

We have, to begin with, periods of depres- 
sion more or less regularly occurring, in which 
a large proportion of the population is out of 
work. These industrial crises are sometimes 
supposed to be mysterious visitations of Provi- 
dence, and they are sometimes charged upon 
the political party which happens to be in 
power, but I do not think that either Provi- 
dence or the politicians should bear the blame. 


The explanation is probably very simple. So 
long as the credit system exists and hmnan 
nature is what it now is, everybody will borrow 
of everybody else, and live on what he borrows. 
Thus credit is more and more extended, until 
some of the more cautious begin to take alarm, 
and to demand payment. The retail merchants 
send out bills to their customers and press for 
payment, and the customers, because they can- 
not pay, stop buying. The merchants must 
therefore stop ordering from the jobbers, and 
the jobbers from the manufacturers, and the 
mill wheels stop and the men are out of work, 
and the great commercial wheel ceases its revo- 
lutions. It is not started again until a great 
many of the debts owed by everybody to every- 
body are canceled, and there is a tremendous 
shrinkage in the nominal wealth of the nation. 

Whatever may be the causes of these depres- 
sions, they return, periodically, and while they 
last there is much suffering. In such emergen- 
cies it is generally felt that private charity is 
inadequate, and that the state must come to the 
rescue. I am not inclined to dispute this con- 
tention, yet even in such times I believe that 
the good-will of good men and women, if it were 
roused to action, could greatly reduce the need 
of public intervention. It is far better that re- 
lief come through individual initiative; a loan, 


at low rates of interest, proffered to an indus- 
trious man by one who knows him well and can 
trust him, would often be a wise beneficence. 
But better than this is the provision of work 
which can often be made by individuals who 
have a surplus which they might employ as 
wages. There are always, in such times, indi- 
viduals who have a little money and much good- 
will, and who feel called upon to give liberally 
to the reKef funds to be administered by certain 
charities. It would be better if they would 
begin some enterprise of repair or improvement 
upon their houses or their grounds and would 
set idle men at work upon it, paying out as 
wages what they intend to give in charity. If 
the work is not greatly needed, it will be a far 
greater benefaction to furnish it than to bestow 
alms upon idle laborers. In view of the fact 
that the work is not needed, the wages offered 
may fairly be less than those paid in flush times, 
and the trade-unions, in such cases, should 
relax their demands. Thus there is an economic 
adjustment, and the man of good-will serves 
himself as well as his neighbor by getting his 
work done more cheaply in the hard times. I 
am persuaded that if the attention of kind- 
hearted people were called to this matter, and 
the efficiency and beneficence of this kind of 
relief were brought home to them, a great many 


private relief agencies of this sort would be set 
in operation, the effect of which would be far 
better than that of the ordinary methods of 
emergency relief. 

It is a matter concerning which you may 
sometimes be warranted in speaking from the 
pulpit. One preaches a great many sermons 
concerning which he never knows whether any 
one heeds them or not; but now and then one 
hears from a sermon, afterward, not merely 
that somebody liked it, but that it set somebody 
to work. One or two of the sermons from 
which I have thus heard were preached in the 
midst of such seasons of depression, setting forth 
the value of the kind of help for the unemployed 
of which I have been speaking. As the result 
of one such sermon, one man, I remember, set 
about building two or three houses on unoc- 
cupied lots; several others made repairs or 
improvements, of one sort or another, on their 
premises; one man started a little business of 
buying up apples and potatoes in the country 
and bringing them to the city by car-loads, 
in which he gave employment to three or four 
persons ; and quite a number of others, who had 
intended to discharge various employees, thought 
better of it and determined to keep them and 
pay them wages instead of contributing to the 
relief fund the amount which they might have 


saved in the reduction of their expenditure. If 
all Christian people were as thoughtful and con- 
siderate and mindful of their opportunities 
as they ought to be in such times, the need of 
public provision for the unemployed would be 
greatly minimized, and many families would be 
kept from entering upon the slippery ways of 

But, as things are, it is often true that the 
city or the town must intervene for the relief of 
industrious people whose means of livelihood 
has failed them. There are emergencies when 
the resources of private charity are inadequate, 
and when there will be much suffering unless 
the public authorities provide some measures of 
aid for the unemployed. The difficulty in such 
cases is that many come forward to claim the 
aid thus provided who are not honestly entitled 
to it, and to whom it is an injury rather than 
a benefit. This, indeed, is the difficulty which 
constantly presents itself in the administration 
of charity, both public and private. In every 
army of the unemployed there is a certain num- 
ber of the unemployable, — of men and women 
who are never employed, if they can help them- 
selves, in good times, and to whom hard times 
are a godsend because their excuse for idleness 
cannot then be questioned. 

I do not know whether you are now taught, 


in this seminary, to make a distinction between 
natural inability and moral inability ; that dis- 
tinction was once familiar, and it is one for 
which the charity-worker has frequent use. 
Th^re is a considerable class of the very poor 
in all our towns and cities whose inability to 
work is strictly moral. It is this class of per- 
sons which presents the standing problem in all 
our efforts to help the poor. The man who 
does not want to work, who prefers to eat his 
bread in the sweat of some other man's (or 
woman's) brow, is not unknown to the student 
of sociology. 

The existence of this class is, however, some- 
times questioned. There are philanthropists 
and social reformers who maintain that the 
people who are out of work are willing to work; 
that their lack of employment is the fault of 
society; that under a proper social system this 
class would disappear or cause no trouble. 
Those who hold this view are, however, persons 
who have never come into any close and contin- 
uous practical relations with this class of the 
population. Any one who has been dealing for 
thirty or forty years with the unemployed has 
learned some things about them which the social 
theorists have never found out, but which it is 
highly important for them to know before they 
launch their millenniums. 


By reflection upon the social phenomena with 
which we are all familiar, we might easily assure 
ourselves that many of the people in the lowest 
social class would avoid work if they could. 
Is not that the truth concerning many people 
in the upper social classes? Is there not in all 
circles a pretty large number of those who will 
get their living if they can without exertion, — 
who will shift their burdens, when they can, upon 
other people's shoulders? Those of keen wits 
and large opportunities manage to do this and 
get their living out of society, sometimes to fare 
sumptuously every day ; those of dull wits and 
narrow opportunities do not succeed so well, 
and their last resource is the soup-kitchen and 
the free lodging-house. But it would be flying 
in the face of all experience to insist that all 
these workless people are willing and eager to 
work — that they lack only opportunity; if that 
were true of them, they would be unlike every 
other class in society. 

I am sure that many of those who are out of 
work would rather work than beg or be depend- 
ent, just as there are many self-respecting peo- 
ple in the more fortunate classes who would 
rather earn their living by honest labor than get 
it by tricky trading or sharp financiering, or 
professional philanthropy or political piracy; 
but we may, at any rate, expect that the pro- 


portion of the shirkers will be as large at the 
bottom of the social scale as in any of the super- 
incumbent social layers. 

The tendency to one-sidedness of judgment 
always appears in men's talk about this matter. 
The strenuous socialist is bound to make out 
that the unemployed are all industrious people, 
willing to bear their full share of the burdens 
of society; but he is quite ready to believe that 
the conduct of the greedy capitalist and the 
soulless corporation is morally defective, — that 
they are trying to get their living out of their 
feUow men without giving an adequate return. 
It might occur to him that selfishness is not 
confined to the upper classes; that the dispo- 
sition to get the good of life without paying 
for it is quite apt to manifest itself among peo- 
ple who have no capital, and that it is a poor 
philosophy of life which ignores or beUttles 
this stubborn fact. 

What we could easily predict from our know- 
ledge of human nature is abundantly verified in 
experience. The most careful and thorough 
study of the industrial conditions which has 
ever been made is that of Mr. Charles Booth 
of London; it is based on a house to house in- 
vestigation of a large section of that city, and 
it gives us a well-considered classification of the 
inhabitants. Mr. Booth finds that the criminal 


class comprises about one and a quarter per 
cent, of the population; and that the lowest 
class of those who are not habitual criminals 
— those who subsist on occasional labor and 
charity — comprises about eleven and a half per 
cent, of the population. This class he thus 
describes: — 

^^From whatever section Class B is drawn, 
except the sections of poor women, there wiU 
be found many of them who, from shifUessness, 
helplessness, idleness, or drink, are inevitably 
poor. The ideal of such persons is to work 
when they like and play when they like; these 
it is who are rightly called the leisure class 
among the poor, leisure bounded very closely 
by the pressure of want, but habitual to the 
extent of second nature. They cannot stand 
the regularity and dullness of civilized exist- 
ence, and find the excitement they need in the 
life of the streets or at home as spectators of or 
participators in some highly colored domestic 
scene." ^ 

Such is a dispassionate estimate of a class 
which this high authority estimates at a little 
more than eleven per cent, of the population of 
East London. From this class the unemployed 
are, x>i course, largely recruited. The figures 
refer to the working-ckss district of London, 

^ Labour and Life of the PeapU^ i 43. 


and the proportion would not hold good of the 
whole metropolis, nor of the entire population 
of any American city. The percentage would 
be much smaller. But the existence of the 
class is scientifically ascertained. 

Another investigation has been made in Eng- 
land, the results of which are thus described in 
a newspaper report : — 

'^Confessedly the most serious and the most 
difficult social problem relates to the unem- 
ployed. So overwhelming are the difficulties 
that some investigators despair of a solution 
amid existing conditions. Numerous expedients 
for special emergencies have been tried, but 
they have been temporary, and have only par- 
tially met the case. Charitable associations, 
labor unions, and municipalities have also grap- 
pled with the problem with discouraging lack 
of success. 

"In view of these facts the results of the late 
thorough and scientific investigation in England 
are not pleasant reading. Nearly two years 
ago, at the suggestion of Sir John Gorst, the 
Toynbee Trust took the matter up, and has 
made the investigation of these social failures 
through university settlements. Twelve dis- 
tricts were selected: Glasgow, Liverpool, Man- 
chester, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Sun- 
derland, Bristol, Nottingham, Bethnal Green, 


Whitechapel, and Shadwell. The results of the 
inquiry show that men are going from skilled to 
unskilled work, but not one man has succeeded 
in adapting himself to any skilled work with 
which he was not familiar. Half of the unem- 
ployed would refuse to go to the country if they 
had a chance. As to characteristics observed, 
the committee say the most striking is stolidity. 
Instead of finding the reckless, versatile class 
of popular imagination, the figures reveal a 
stratum of dull, apathetic men, passively resist- 
ing all outside assistance. They never go in 
search of work; as a class they never hear of 
new work. If out of work, they depend for 
their hand to mouth existence upon their wives 
and chUdren, or upon charity, untU employment 
is brought to their doors. They are not unem- 
ployable, but, being at the bottom of the scale, 
they are naturally the first to be dismissed and 
the last to be taken on again. It may be said, 
therefore, truthfully, fliat they neither will nor 
can work out their own salvation. The problem 
remains how to get at them for their relief and 
true elevation." 

Such are the facts revealed by thorough in- 
vestigation into the conditions of the unemployed 
in England. They are paralleled in this coun- 
try, as we shall presently see. It must not, 
however, be inferred that all those who, at any 


time, are out of work belong to this class. In 
seasons like the present, of great industrial 
activity, the unemployed are almost wholly of 
this class; but there are many years, in this 
prosperous country, when the labor force is not 
wholly utilized, and when willing workers find it 
very hard to obtain remunerative employment. 
One who has been a city pastor for many years, 
and has spent days and weeks in vainly trying 
to obtain employment for industrious people, 
finds it hard to be patient when optimists assert 
that there is always work in this country for 
those who are willing to work. The fact is 
that, for the greater part of the time, the sup- 
ply of labor exceeds the demand ; it is only in 
exceptional times like the present that the sur- 
plus labor is all taken up. 

In a discussion by Colonel Carroll D. Wright, 
the head of our National Bureau of Statistics, of 
the figures of the census of 1890, he estimates 
that during the year of that census about one 
twentieth of the entire labor force of the coun- 
try was unemployed, — a total of 1,189,672. 
That was a fairly prosperous year. In the 
great industrial depression of 1893-94, reports 
from many cities showed that from one tenth 
to one third of all the wage-workers were out of 
employment. In hard times, therefore, this 
problem of the unemployed is a very serious 


one, and even in average times it demands our 
sympathetic attention. If five per cent, of 
those employed in gainful vocations are out of 
work in what we call good times, this fact con- 
stitutes a problem to which all men and women 
of good- will should give careful study. It is 
true, of course, that a considerable portion of 
those who are thus living in enforced idleness 
do not become a charge upon the community. 
Some of them have friends on whom they may 
depend for subsistence for a longer or shorter 
period; some of them are able to obtain credit 
of the landlord, the grocer, the butcher, the 
coal dealer, the boarding-house keeper. If they 
do not succeed in obtaining work, these debts 
remain unpaid and are charged up to profit and 
loss by their creditors, — making it necessary 
for these creditors to obtain larger rates and 
larger profits from those who can pay, and thus 
distributing some portion of the burden over the 
whole community. If they do succeed in ob- 
taining work, these debts remain as an incum- 
brance, and lessen their future expenditures for 
the comforts of life. But some good portion 
of the million or more who are unemployed do 
thus succeed in living without making direct 
appeal to the cities or the charitable societies. 

Just what percentage of the unemployed be- 
come a charge upon public or private charity, 


nobody knows. It is sufficient to say that from 
decade to decade an increasing number of such 
persons is thus becoming more or less dependent. 
And the first thing to be done for these persons 
is to find some way of separating those of them 
who are willing to work from those who are 
determined to live without work. This is the 
last thing that the shirkers will consent to have 
done. It is for their interest to prevent this 
discrimination. They all profess to want work; 
they are all looking for work; that is their oc- 
cupation; they get their living by looking for 
work — and failing to find it; if one of them 
should find work, his ordinary means of liveli- 
hood would fail. It is difficult for most of us 
to distinguish between those who are looking 
for work with the hope of finding it and those 
who are looking for it with the hope of not find- 
ing it. The distinction is purely psychological, 
and none of us is omniscient. In the worst 
times the test of success cannot be applied, for 
the man who wants work then is not much more 
likely to get it than the man who does not want 
it. Nevertheless, the crux, of the whole business 
is the separation of these two men. We cannot 
deal with either of them equitably until we know 
which one wants to work and hates to be depend- 
ent, and which one hates to work and would 
just as lief as not be dependent. 


How shall these classes be separated? Some 
kind of work test must be devised, and it must 
be an adequate test, — one that can be intelli- 
gently and impartially applied. If aid of any 
kind is to be furnished by the town or the city, 
the test must be applied by the public authori-. 
ties. The state or the city must have some 
means of finding out whether or not able-bodied 
persons asking relief or assistance are willing 
to work. 

We often have work tests of various kinds 
connected with private charities, but these are 
not apt to be satisfactory. Applicants for aid 
are not obliged to submit to them; they may 
turn away from them to the public authorities 
which have no tests to apply; and thus the court 
of last resort is a tribunal that really asks no 
questions. Where this is the case, there is no 
check upon imposture. 

If you have a private charity which requires 
all able-bodied applicants for aid to work for 
what they receive, that private charity is per- 
fectly certain to get a bad name among the 
unemployed. Whether it deserves it or not, it 
will be distrusted and discredited among the 
poor. Those who do not want to work for their 
living will, of course, have no use for it; they 
will find all manner of fault with it; they will 
tell all kinds of tales about their own experience 


with it, or the experiences of others of which 
they have heard ; they will diligently prejudice 
all their poor neighbors against it. Angels 
from heaven could not manage a private charity 
with a work test and not lose their reputation. 
From any private charity thus administered the 
great majority of the needy will turn away. So 
long as the city stands ready to give free aid 
with no adequate investigation, all attempts of 
private institutions to sift out the shirkers from 
the workers will prove abortive. The city itself 
must establish a work test and consistently 
enforce it. "The evidence is very strong," 
says Mr. John Graham Brooks, "that volimtary 
association alone cannot cope with the pi-oblem. 
The city must take part in such way as to allow 
competition between it and voluntary schemes. 
A certain steadiness and imiformity can alone 
be secured by mimicipal control." 

The work test which the city sets up must be 
an adequate test. A stone pile is not sufficient. 
There are men who are willing to work, but 
who simply cannot work on a stone pile. They 
might sweep the streets; they might do some 
other useful work. But I think that in large 
places there should be two or three different 
kinds of work provided for men and two or 
three for women, and the applicants should be 
assigned by the officer in charge to the kind of 


work for which he or she is best fitted. The 
steady and persistent application of this test 
by the public authorities will gradually sift out 
the industrious &om the idle. 

So, then, brethren, you will find that one of 
your orthodox doctrines — that which affirms 
L necessity of separation between the good 
and the evil — is verified in the necessities of 
our charitable work. However it may be in the 
world to come, it is needful in this world to 
find some way of dividing the sheep from the 
goats. Neither can be rightly treated while 
we attempt to deal with them together. The 
winnowing &n is one of the indispensable 
appliances of good social administration. I do 
not say that this separation of the shirkers &om 
the workers is to be final; the expectation ia 
quite otherwise; you may find that in your theo- 
logy, but my sociology gives no warrant for it; 
the separation is temporary and provisional, but 
it is necessary for purposes of discipline. 

Having divided the sheep from the goats, 
what shall be done with the sheep? The work 
tests, of which we have spoken, should be ade- 
quate for their temporary relief . The employ- 
ment offered should be such as will suffice for 
the frugal maintenance of those accepting it, 
and it would doubtless be wise that the compen- 
sation should be in provisions rather than in 


money, and that it should be distinctly less than 
that which capable workmen are able to earn in 
good times. There ought to be no encourage- 
ment to dependence on the public for employ- 
ment. This is emergency relief; it is intended 
to help these industrious people through a period 
of stringency, and it ought not to release them 
from the need of vigilance and enterprise in 
finding for themselves suitable employment when 
the industrial machine is again set in motion. 

It will be well also, if the employment offered 
by the city can be, as far as possible, work on 
public account, — labor upon improvements or 
repairs for the city itself, — so that it shall inter- 
fere no more than is necessary with the private 
enterprises in which laborers are at the same 
time earning their living. 

With these safeguards, the temporary provi- 
sion of work for the industrious unemployed by 
the town or the city is a safe and wise policy. 
The labor of such people will be worth what it 
costs; the community will suffer no loss; it will 
be possible to utilize their service in ways which 
are productive and economical. But, however 
this may be, it must be more economical and 
more humane and more Christian to find work 
for them than to pauperize them. If private 
enterprise and private capital can find employ- 
ment for the multitude that is standing idle in 


the market-place, by all means let it be done ; 
but if they cannot, then let the state organize 
for them employments by which they may eat 
their own bread, and know that they are giving 
full measure for what they receive, and are not 
dependents on pubKc or private charity. 

Four ways of helping the industrious unem- 
ployed can be thought of. 

1. Private persons, their neighbors, or repre- 
sentatives of the churches or charitable socie- 
ties may assist them in finding work by which 
they may support themselves. 

2. By such private agencies alms or gratui- 
ties, in the form of money or food or fuel or 
clothing, may be bestowed on them, by which 
they are enabled to live for a longer or shorter 
period without work. 

3. The public authorities of the city or the 
township or the county may furnish them gra- 
tuitous assistance in the same way. 

4. The public authorities may furnish them 
temporary employment by which they may earn 
their living. 

Of these four methods the first, in my esti- 
mation, is the best and the last is the second 
best. The other two are not to be tolerated. 
Neither on public nor on private charity should 
any able-bodied man or woman be compelled or 
permitted to subsist. Private charity is less 


demoralizing than public charity, because it is 
apt to be more discriminating and less degrad- 
ing; but it is an indignity and a wrong to ask 
anybody who is willing to work to accept a dole 
and to live upon the labor of others. For the 
lack of proper organization and administration 
of public or private measures of relief I have 
often been compelled to do this very thing, but 
it hurts me to bestow alms on able-bodied per- 
sons, because I know how much it hurts them 
to receive it. But this is what the public au- 
thorities are doing all the while. When the 
state steps in to care for those who are out of 
work, whether in good times or in bad times, 
its assistance almost always takes the form of 
alms. And it takes this form because it is sup- 
posed to be dangerous for the state or the city 
to furnish work. That, we are told, would be 
a socialistic proceeding. But the state and the 
city do raise money, hundreds of thousands of 
dollars, by taxation, and bestow it as alms on 
able-bodied men and women. This is not so- 
cialism, but it is something much worse. Of 
all the ways of relieving want, this is by far the 
worst. It is time that this mischievous business 
of making paupers came" to an end. And I 
hope, my brethren, that you may be able, in 
your day and generation, to do something to- 
ward putting an end to it. We are living now 


in a day of almost unexampled prosperity, but 
^e must noi imagine that it is permLnt ; the 
days of depression aI^e sure to return, and you 
will find yourselves in the midst of multitudes 
who are willing to work, but whom no man will 
hire. When such conditions arise, it is the busi- 
ness of the public authorities to organize some 
methods by which these people may be able to 
earn their living by their labor. That may be 
socialism, but it is not pauperism. And if we 
must choose between the two, I, for one, find 
no difficulty in making the choice. All-of-us 
must see to it that None-of-us who wishes to 
work or is able to work shall be compelled either 
to starve or to eat the bread of charity. That 
is as nearly fundamental as anything can be in 
social theo^. The injury which might come to 
the state through the establishment of such a 
claim is slight, compared with the injury which 
it is now suffering through the establishment of 
the pauper's claim. Men cry out in alarm at 
the assertion of "the right to work," but they 
seem to be quite willing to concede to increas- 
ing multitudes the right to live without work. 
Which involves the greater peril to the state? 

What treatment, now, should be provided 
for those who have been proved to have a con- 
stitutional aversion to industry, who are deter- 
mined to get their living without work? Such 


persons are social parasites. They have for- 
f eited, by their unsocial conduct, their freedom. 
They have chosen not to do their part in bear- 
ing the burdens of society, but rather to impose 
themselves as burdens upon society. Society 
must therefore put them under a discipline 
i which shall bring them to a better mind. For 
I persons of this class workhouses should be pro- 
1 vided, which should be not merely places of 
temporary detention, but training-schools of 
industry. It is doubtless better to regard these 
rather as educational than as penal institutions, 
because people of this class do not need to be 
humiliated and > degraded ; they need rather to 
be inspired and encouraged. Probably most of 
them deserve pity more than censure. Perhaps 
a few months of wholesome diet, regular habits, 
and intelligent direction of their thought and 
action may greatly improve their physical and 
mental condition. I do not mean that they will 
submit to this regimen without compulsion; it 
will be necessary to convince them that the dis- 
cipline is not to be shirked; but the constant 
effort should be to arouse their self-respect and 
awaken their hope. The steady and resolute 
purpose should be to make men and women of 
them. If they are thoroughly trained in some 
kind of industry and encouraged to believe that 
they may become useful and self-supporting 


members of society, some of them, at least, may 
be rescued from pauperism. To this end the 
sentence to the workhouse should be indetermi- 
nate, and the discipline should not be relaxed 
until the subject shows good promise of refor- 
mation, and some one appears who will be re- 
sponsible for giving him work in the outside 

With these workhouses in the cities farm 
colonies should also be coordinated. Many of 
these persons would be far better off in the 
country ; they could be best fitted for self-sup- 
port by training of that kind. Not a few of 
them came from the country, and know more 
about agricultural work than about any other 
form of industry. It would be easier for them 
to find their way back to self-support in that 
calling than in any other. 

Respecting the need of some such measures 
of isolation and discipline for persons of this 
class, let me quote from an article by Mr. John 
Graham Brooks, whose knowledge of this sub- 
ject is wide, and whose sympathy with the needy 
and the unf ortimate is deep and true : — 

"The final question remains. What of the 
tramp and all his kind, whose pretense of seek- 
ing work is but a form of begging? What of 
those who have been offered work and have re- 
fused it? To the extent that public opinion can^ 


be slowly won to it, I see but one answer. All 
such must be put upon a penal farm colony or 
into a training-school, but in either case as 
much under restraint as if they were in prison. 
There shall be, however, this difference, that 
they shall be given an absolutely fair chance to 
work their way out by proving two things, — 
first, that they can do something useful, and 
second, that they will do it. If they continue 
to refuse both, then there is more reason why 
they should be kept under restraint than in the 
case of an insane person. Socialists affirm that 
society is to blame for the tramp. This is pos- 
sible, but it is not a question of blame, but of 
social danger. I submit that the most super- 
ficial study of the tramp question and that of 
the chronic beggar, generally, in their effects 
upon social life, leaves no doubt that, in any 
kind of handling of our problem, so long as 
they are mixed bewilderingly together with the 
worthy and the hopeful, — those, I mean, who 
have at least good-will, and for whom something 
can be done, — so long as nine tenths of the 
citizens cannot in the least distinguish between 
these hopeful elements on the one hand and the 
despairing ones on the other, — we are blocked 
from taking even the first steps toward a ra- 
tional dealing with this problem of charity and 
the unemployed. This deadbeat crowd, by any 


test that we can apply to it, is our greatest 
plague. Indirectly its expense is incomparably 
greater than all the disciplinary measures I am 
proposing. But when this crowd is considered 
in its relation to that part of our population 
which furnishes us the constant stream of the 
undervitalized and unfit, we see that no real 
gain is possible until these sources of our trou- 
bles are reached. The three great passions — the 
sexual, gaming, and drink — are furnished in our 
cities such occasion for mischief as the world 
has not seen. The brothel, gambling, and the 
saloon are organized into such formidable en- 
ticements, and are on so vast and various a 
scale, that they work in the deadliest conceiv- 
able way upon this class which makes our diffi- 
culty. Here the stuff for charity and the un- 
employed is manufactured as cloth in a mill. 
What a comment upon our intelligence that 
Massachusetts should allow 8000 feeble-minded 
girls to be loose in the commimity breeding their 
kind, instead of humanely and kindly shutting 
them up. The tramp and the professional beg- 
gar in every form is quite as distinct a danger 
to society, and as fruitful of results for charity 
and the unemployed." 

We sometimes say that society is an organ- 
ism, and there is truth in the biological analogy 
if we do not press it too far. A man is an 


organism plus intelligence and will, and so is 
society. The intelligence and will of the man 
are put in charge of the physical organism, and 
, the intelligence and will of society are put in 
I charge of the social organism. If the man's 
intelligence finds that morbid conditions have 
been set up in any portion of his body, he pro- 
ceeds to deal with them by remedial measures. 
This may call for severity, for the administra- 
tion of bitter medicines, for the application of 
heat and counter-irritants; it may even demand 
surgery — the free use of the knife — the exci- 
sion of the diseased parts of the body. Now 
just as the free intelligence of a man applies the 
necessary curatives to his body when it is dis- 
eased, so the free intelligence which is respon- 
sible for the social organism must apply the 
necessary curatives to those portions of society 
which are morbidly affected, even though this 
may involve pain and suffering. And there 
may be, in this treatment, something analogous 
to conservative surgery. Not that the amputa- 
tion of the diseased members of society is to be 
considered. No portions of the social organism 
are to be cut off and cast as rubbish to the void. 
That is not our prerogative. But the morbid 
elements may be separated from the social or- 
ganism, not to be consigned to destruction, but 
to receive curative treatment, that they may be 


restored to their place and function in society. 
We separate from society in this way the crim- 
inal classes, so called, that they may be re- 
formed. They are rightly regarded as diseased 
social tissue, and we isolate them that we may 
make them whole. All our treatment of them 
must have this end in view. And the same 
treatment must be given to the class which is 
sinking into penury and pauperism. Chronic 
mendicants must be separated from society and 
the sexes from each other, so that the race of 
** ne'er-do-weels " shall not be propagated, and 
so that those segregated may be reclaimed and 
fitted for social service.^ 

All this is the imperative social demand, to 
which we must give due heed. But for you and 
me, my brethren, there is another and a deeper 
motive which must never be obscured. It is 
not merely the protection of society, it is the 
salvation of these people themselves that we are 
to keep before our minds in all this discipline. 
The tramp and the professional beggar is our 
brother; he is worth saving, therefore we must 
stop pauperizing him and put him under influ- 
ences that will tend to reclaim and restore him 
to manhood. It is the recognition of this high 

^ See a fuller discnssion of this phase of the qnestion in 
BiUioiheca ISctcra, toI. lyii, pp, 135-153, ^' The Cure of Pen- 


responsibility on the part of the state for which 
I am pleading. This is work which cannot be 
done by private agencies. It involves a mea- 
sure of compulsion which only the state can 
exercise. And the state can never do it as it 
ought to be done until it gets a new conception 
of its fimction as the representative of the divine 
power and the divine goodness. 

The application of the work test will reveal 
to us another class for whom some provision 
must be made. It will show us a considerable 
number who are not unwilling to work, but who 
are utterly incompetent. There is no kind of 
useful industry in which they can earn their 
living. If they get employment they do not 
keep it, because their work is worth so little. 
For these — especially for the younger ones 
among them — other trade schools, not penal in 
their administration, should be established, — 
schools in city and country in which their hands 
and their brains may be trained to do something 
that may be of service to the community. Mr. 
Brooks, who carefully watched the experiments 
in the winter of 1893-94, in which work was 
furnished by the cities to those out of employ- 
ment, testifies, in the article before quoted, that 
among the great majority of those applying for 
relief there is ''an appalling lack of even the 
beginning of any kind of skilj. The skilless 


workman in this age of highly developed indus- 
try is, especially in cities, at a terrible disad- 
vantage. He can produce nothing for which 
market value exists, nothing for which there is 
a real want." What shall we do for this man? 
We must do one of two things. We must feed 
him as a pauper and let him live in idleness, or 
we must try to teach him some kind of industry 
by which he may earn his living. It is a stu- 
pendous and costly blunder to let him become 
a pauper, and the other course is the only one 
that is open to an intelligent and humane de- 

A late and inadequate remedy this must be 
confessed to be. The training of these people 
ought to have begun earlier. Our systems of 
education ought to make large provision for 
instruction of this kind. There should be a 
better chance for our boys and girls to learn 
the arts of industry. The stream cannot be 
thoroughly cleansed unless we begin at the 

To this entire question of unemployment and 
charity a great deal of very earnest study has 
been given during the past twenty-five years, 
and you will find men and women everywhere, 
some in public office and some in private sta- 
tion, who are doing what they can to enlighten 
the public upon these matters and to rectify the 


defects of public administration. Yet there is 
still a vast amount of ignorance and carelessness 
and fatal foolishness in our handling of these 
difficult problems. No man can know what I 
have been obliged to know about the deadly ef- 
fects of the pauperizing methods* which the state 
is constantly practicing without feeling that 
something must be done to put an end to them. 
The money wasted in this bad administration is 
a vast sum, but that, after all, is a trifle com- 
pared with the waste of manhood and woman - 
hold which it entails. When I see the fibre of 
character slowly decaying under these influences ; 
men and women gradually losing self-respect 
„a i.dep.„d,.», L learning tofely mor.Ld 
more on alms and doles; losing the habit of 
thrift and living literally from hand to mouth; 
when I see children, by the thousand, growing 
up in homes where this chronic mendicancy is 
the rule, my heart cries out against the careless- 
ness which permits such degradation. We have 
no right to allow this moral infection to spread. 
If we do not know enough to stop it, we do not 
know enough to rule this country. The pains 
of hunger call forth our sympathy; we ought to 
shield our unfortunate neighbors from that suf- 
fering; we must make sure that no one who is 
willing to work shall suffer hunger; but, after 
all, the dry rot with which hundreds of charac- 


ters are stricken through, as the result of our 
reckless and corrupting charities, is far more 
terrible than any physical pain. Who of us 
would not sooner see any one dear to him die 
of starvation than sink into that abject condi- 
tion where he would rather grovel as a mendi- 
cant for bread than earn it by honest work? 

And you can think for yourselves — I will 
not try to assist your reflection — what sort of 
citizens these must be ; what relation they are 
likely to sustain to bosses and boodlers; what 
safety there is for free government in a popu- 
lation containing a large infusion of such ele- 

As it is through bad civic administration that 
these mischiefs have grown, so it must be 
through good civic administration that they 
shall be corrected and prevented. Is it not evi- 
dent that the people everywhere, in the city, 
the county, the state, have on their hands some 
large and serious tasks ? The business of gov- 
erning this country is becoming a very intricate 
business, requiring the ripest wisdom, the broad- 
est sympathy, the keenest insight into the values 
of character, the utmost docility under the 
teachings of experience, the greatest firmness in 
holding fast to eternal principles. For such 
affairs as we have been considering, what clear- 
minded, stainless, magnanimous men we need! 


What prospect is there that the people will find 
such men and put them in change of these diffi- 
cult undertakings? Is not this the fundamen- 
tal trouble — that the people's standards are 
not so high as they ought to be ; that they do 
not rightly value the essential qualities of char- 
acter? The real reason why the workingman 
ought not to be permitted to eat his bread in 
idleness is that this dependence costs him his 
manhood. But your political spoilsman, who 
is likely to be chosen to manage this business 
of poor relief, is himself seeking to become a 
pensioner or dependent on the government; he 
has no sense of the workingman 's peril; the 
pauper's motive and his own are essentially the 
same ; how can he deal with a problem so vitally 
involving the integrity of men? And if the 
spoilsman's methods and purposes are not ab- 
horrent to the people who elect him, how can 
they understand the perils of pauperism? 

Believe me, brethren, there is need of a radi- 
cal change of heart, on the part of the great 
multitude of the voters, those in the churches 
as well as those outside the churches, in order 
that we may deal wisely and savingly with these 
great interests. The work before us — let us 
never forget — is the work of saving men. To 
this work the state is summoned. I said in my 
last lecture that the ministry to the poor in their 


homes is too sacred and personal to be per- 
formed by public officials; yet here is work 
which the state must do, and which can only be 
well done by those who have some deep sense 
of spiritual realities. Is it not evident that 
citizenship is a serious vocation? Has the 
Christian minister any responsibility for bring- 
ing this truth home to the consciences of the 



Of those who are described as the criminal 
classes, — those who are in prison, or going 
thither, or departing thence, — we are to speak 
at this time. Criminology, the study of those 
who have fallen under the ban of the law; peno- 
logy, the study of prison discipline, are fruitful 
topics of investigation for students of soci- 
ety. The subject is one with which the Chris- 
tian church and the Christian ministry ought to 
be concerned. No matter where your ministry 
may be exercised, the problems growing out of 
the existence of a criminal class are sure to be 
brought home to you. You may not have, as 
I have, a great penitentiary within the sound of 
your church bell, but men and women in every 
community in which you live will be going to 
prison, and returning from prison; and the 
question respecting the causes that send them 
thither and the influences that surround them 
there will be one that will force itseM upon the 
consideration of every thoughtful follower of 


Jesus Christ. Moreover, if no great prison is 
near your home, you are pretty sure to be in 
the immediate neighborhood of a jail or a work- 
house, and some of the most serious questions 
connected with our penal systems in this coun- 
try are those arising out of the conditions of 
our county jails and city prisons. There are 
sufficient reasons, therefore, why you should 
seek to keep yourselves informed respecting all 
the phases of this most vital branch of social 
study. You are sure to have opportunities of 
mfluencing public opinion and of Riding public 
action in ; matter which deeply concerns the 
weUare of the state. 

When we speak of crime and criminals, defi- 
nitions are needed. "Crimes are wrongful ac- 
tions, violations of the rights of other men, in- 
juries done to individuals or to society, against 
which there is a legal prohibition^ enforced hy 
some appropriate legal penalty. ^^^ Offenses 
which the state undertakes to punish are crimes. 
These are technically divided into felonies and 
misdemeanors, — the line of division between 
which is not very clearly drawn. Perhaps the 
usual distinction would be this, that a felony is 
an offense punished by death or imprisonment 
in a state prison, while a misdemeanor is an 
offense punished by a fine or an imprisonment 

1 Punishment and Reformation^ by J. H. Wines, p. 11. 


in a jail. The greater crimes are styled felonies 
and the lesser misdemeanors. Nothing, how- 
ever, is regarded as a crime but that which the 
law undertakes to punish ; a criminal is one who 
has fallen under the punitive prohibition of the 

The category of crimes is therefore a shifting 
and indefinite one ; it changes as ethical stand- 
ards change, and as new conceptions of right 
and wrong register themselves in statutes. In 
days long past, deviations from the established 
religion were punished as crimes. The history 
of criminal law is full of curious illustrations of 
what men have thought it needful to put under 
the ban of the law. The German printers who 
first appeared in Paris with printed books found 
themselves denounced as sorcerers, and to es- 
cape being burnt alive, fled the city. "The 
lonians," says Mr. Wines, "passed a law exil- 
ing all men who were never seen to laugh. The 
Carthaginians killed their generals when they 
lost a battle. Pliny relates that they condemned 
Hanno for having tamed a lion, because a man 
who could tame a lion was dangerous to the lib- 
erties of the people. In ancient Bome play- 
actors were deprived of citizenship. By the 
Julian law celibacy was a crime. In Sparta con- 
firmed bachelors were stripped in midwinter 
and publicly scourged in the market-place."^ 

1 Punishment and Reformation^ p. 18. 


The catalogue of obsolete crimes is a long 
one. On the other hand, the new social and 
economic conditions are greatly increasing the 
number of misdeeds which the law forbids and 
punishes. "In a word," Dr. Wines concludes, 
"crime is a variable quantity. It is the product 
of the aggregate social conditions and tendencies 
of a people at a given moment in its history. 
Actions which in one age are regarded as he- 
roic, and which have elevated their authors to 
the rank of the gods, in another bring the same 
daring spirits to a dungeon or the gibbet."^ 
In a great debate in a religious assembly, early 
in the last century, a speaker replied to some 
strictures on slavery by admonishing the critic 
that Abraham, who was the friend of God and 
the father of the faithful, was a slaveholder, 
whereupon Dr. Leonard Bacon arose and said : 
"Mr. Moderator, if Abraham were living in 
Connecticut to-day, we shotdd send him to the 
penitentiary ! " 

Not merely the definition of crime changes, 
but the methods of dealing with it are also con- 
stantly undergoing modification. In the history 
of penology all the earlier chapters are chapters 
of horrors. Death by all manner of diabolical 
inflictions, mutilation, tortures, shameful expos- 
ure, everything that the ingenuity of man could 

Punishment and Re/ormationy p. 28. 


invent to produce pain and suffering, has been 
resorted to as the legal retribution of wrong- 
doing. It would not now be profitable to repeat 
this terrible record. In our own time the more 
brutal and violent forms of punishment are al- 
most universally abandoned ; the branding-irons, 
the whipping-post, the pillory have disappeared ; 
in most of our states the death penalty is still 
inflicted, though often by methods less painful 
and revolting than those formerly in use, and 
the form of punishment for crime which has 
supplanted almost every other is imprisonment. 
It may, however, be a fact unfamiliar to some 
of you that the prison, as a penal institution 
provided by the state, is a recent contrivance. 
Something of the nature of the prison existed 
in antiquity, but it was not a place in which 
men who had been tried and adjudged guilty 
were confined as a punishment L ^rime K 
you will reflect upon the Mosaic sociology, with 
which you are of course familiar, you will re- 
member that no mention of prisons is found in 
the penal laws of Moses. "In the New Testa- 
ment and in Greek literature," says Mr. Charl- 
ton T. Lewis, "there is an occasional reference 
to imprisonment, but the word for it in Greek 
is precisely the word for bondage. It means to 
take a man and put him in chains, to fetter a 
man, when it is necessary to restrain him. The 


Bomans cast some of the apostles in prison, but 
for what purpose? Did they attempt thus to 
punish them? Such an idea never entered their 
minds. Every prisoner was detained for a defi- 
nite purpose. He was held for trial, or to keep 
him out of the way of somebody who was his 
enemy; but imprisonment inflicted by law for 
crime did not exist. Prisons existed in the 
Middle Ages, but they were a sort of appendage 
to feudal power. Noblemen with castles always 
had prisons in them. Kings had prisons into 
which they could throw their prime ministers or 
wives or anybody they could get hold of and 
keep them until they saw fit otherwise to punish 
them. But the idea of imprisonment as a pen- 
alty had not dawned upon the world." ^ 

It was not until the eighteenth century that 
prisons began to be used for strictly penal pur- 
poses. Men were revolting from the inhuman 
penalties, and in their reluctance to inflict them 
the criminals were left for longer and longer 
periods in the place of detention, and finally, 
the idea that the imprisonment itself was pun- 
ishment enough be^n to get possession of men's 
minds, and confinement for specified legal pe- 
riods was substituted for most of the barbarous 
inflictions which the law had formerly author- 

* Report of International Congress, Chicago^ 1893 : Insane, 
Feeble-minded, and Criminals, p. 96. 


ized. Doubtless it is more humane than the 
torture and mutilation which it has supplanted, 
but there is reason to doubt whether we have yet 
learned how to administer it so as to secure the 
best results. 

For what reasons do we now imprison men ? 
Imprisonment is properly considered to be a 
form of punishment, and our jurisprudence so 
regards it. One of the penalties prescribed for 
the violation of law is imprisonment in the jail 
or the penitentiary. And various reasons have 
been given for the infliction of the penalty. 
The first is the gratification of vengeance. The 
customary law of ancient peoples required the 
infliction of vengeance upon the perpetrators 
of wrongs or injuries. It was the duty of the 
sufferer himself, or of his nearest relative, to 
inflict an equivalent injury upon the man who 
had done the wrong. Private vengeance of this 
sort was not only regarded as a right, it was a 
sacred obligation; the man was execrated and 
despised who failed to administer it. As so- 
ciety became more fully organized, the lawgivers 
undertook to regulate this. Naturally, private 
vengeance tended to excesses; the retaliator 
rarely stopped with inflicting the amount of in- 
jury which he or his kinsman had suffered, and 
therefore metes and bounds were set to the exer- 
cise of this function. The Mosaic law is such 


an instance. "Thou shalt give life for life, eye 
for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for 
foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, 
stripe for stripe."^ Here is, no doubt, an at- 
tempt to restrain men from excesses of ven- 
geance ; the equivalent must be exact; the injured 
man may take his pound of flesh, but no more. 
Vengeance is embarrassed, as Shylock found, 
when it is compelled to measure its stroke; in 
the care which it is forced to exercise, its fury is 
cooled. By and by the state in the person of 
its ruler took the power of inflicting punishment 
wholly into its own hands. It began to be 
dimly recognized that an injury to one was the 
concern of all ; and that the state should protect 
its citizens and punish their injuries. Still, 
this motive of vengeance was retained as a rea- 
son for punishment, only now the punishment 
was not inflicted by the sufferer or his kinsman, 
but by the constituted authorities. That motive 
is still, by some jurists and moralists, regarded 
as one of the sound reasons for punishing crimi- 
nals. I think that Carlyle somewhere says that 
the impulse to avenge yourself upon one who 
has wronged you is the foundation of our penal 
system. "I think it highly desirable," says 
Sir James Stephen, "that criminals should be 
hated; that the punishment inflicted upon them 

1 Ex. xxL 23-25. 


should be so contrived as to give expression to 
that hatred, and to justify it, so far as the pub- 
lic provision of means for expressing and grati- 
fying a natural healthy sentiment can justify 
and encourage it."^ 

This reason for putting men in prison is one 
which the growth of moral sentiment has de- 
prived of much of its force. When we consider 
our own inability to determine the exact amount 
of culpability in the case of each prisoner, and 
when we take into account all the facts of he- 
redity and environment which may have contrib- 
uted to lead him into the ways of transgression, 
we are forced to the conclusion that the cherish- 
ing of hatred toward him is a luxury in which we 
should sparingly indulge ourselves. We may 
safely conclude that the main reason why these 
prisoners are in our penitentiaries or our jails 
is not that we, the people of the state, may hate 
them or express our displeasure toward them, 
or inflict vengeance upon them. 

And yet there is a proper feeling of resent- 
ment against the enemies of society. It is one 
of the deepest truths of the natural moral order 
that the way of the transgressor is hard; and 
one of the reasons why it is hard is that he has 
arrayed against himself the displeasure of his 
neighbors. That fact finds and ought to find 

^ History of Criminal LaWf vol. ii. cbap. zviL p. 82. 


expression in our penal laws. He who does 
wrong ought to suffer, and society ought to be 
so organized that he shall suffer. 

We are told that the Christian law forbids 
retribution; that Jesus bids us "Judge not;" 
that he enjoins upon us the love of our enemies ; 
that he admonishes us that vengeance belongs 
to God. But these words are more properly in- 
terpreted as the rule of individual conduct, and 
do not apply to the state which deals imperson- 
ally with evil-doers. Between my own personal 
feeling of resentment toward the man who has 
injured me and my feeling of resentment to- 
ward the enemy of society there is a clear dif- 
ference. The one sentiment I cannot afford to 
indulge, for it may be altogether selfish; the 
other I may safely cherish, for it is altogether 

Indeed, if the Apostle Paul understood the 
Christian law, the case is clear, for he tells us 
that "the powers that be" — the constituted 
authorities — are ordained to be a terror to evil- 
doers. "If thou do that which is evil," he says, 
"be afraid; for he [the magistrate] beareth not 
the sword in vain ; for he is a minister of God, 
an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil." 
The people, in a republic, are the representa- 
tives of God, and they are bound, in their 
methods of administration, to expriess the mind 


and will of God as best they can. They will 
do it but imperfectly, no doubt, but they must 
strive to do it. They will inadequately repre- 
sent the divine justice and mercy in their at- 
tempts to reclaim evil-doers, but they must use 
their best endeavors. The fact that they are 
not omniscient should make them careful how 
they bear the sword of retribution, but it does 
not release them from the responsibility of bear- 
ing it. And it seems to me that their laws and 
penalties ought to express the divine displeasure 
against wrong-doing; that they ought to be re- 
garded as a solemn testimony of the moral sense 
of the nation against those acts which tend to 
destroy the social order and to overthrow the 
kingdom of God. It is natural and right that 
society should regard with condign displeasure 
those acts which tend to make society impossi- 
ble, and that it should express this displeasure 
in the penalties which it annexes to crime. At 
the same time there is great need that in the 
administration of punishment we learn to esti- 
mate social injuries more accurately. It is here 
that we are constantly making the most gro- 
tesque and mischievous mistakes. The worst 
public enemies of our time are not always the 
men who get into the penitentiary. The acts 
which are tending most powerfully to make so- 
ciety impossible are committed by men in the 


high places of respectability and power. There 
is no man in any prison in this country who has 
done a hundredth part as much to make society 
impossible as has been done by any one of half 
a dozen great political leaders. The man who 
by the corrupt use of money manipulates cau- 
cuses and conventions and debauches candidates 
and voters, thus poisoning at their sources the 
streams of poHtical power, is the most danger- 
ous man in society to-day; albeit his guilt is 
shared by those managers of great corporations 
who furnish him with corruption funds. If our 
notions of justice were clearer, such men would 
not be abroad in society. Compared with the 
destructive influence of such men, how harmless 
are most of the criminals shut up in our prisons. 
And there are other classes of malefactors with 
whom both law and pubHc sentiment very in- 
adequately deal. Such miscarriages of justice 
do not, however, affect the principle for which 
I am contending, namely, that law and penalty 
ought to express our moral judgment against 
wrong-doing, and our solemn consent to the 
eternal principle that suffering ought to follow 

In our reaction against the retributive severi- 
ties of the old penology, we are in great danger 
of losing sight of fundamental ethical principles. 
Many sentimental prison reformers are in the 


habit of talking about prisoners, and even of 
talking to them, as if they were wholly innocent 
and amiable people, sinned against, more than 
sinning, rather better, on the whole, than those 
outside the walls. Such talk is highly perni- 
cious. The fact that there are great scoundrels 
outside and undeserving sufferers inside must 
not lead us to minimize the wrongs which these 
men have done. They must be made to feel 
that the resentment of society against anti-so- 
cial conduct is a just resentment. The first 
condition of genuine reform is that they shall 
recognize that feeling as just, and shaU share it. 

Nevertheless, I do not think that this ought 
to be the prominent motive in prison discipline. 
For the reasons already suggested, — because 
our knowledge of motives is inadequate; be- 
cause it is so hard for us to judge of the real 
demerit of the criminal, — it is unwise to em- 
phasize this element in our prison administra- 
tion. We must recognize it as one of the 
motives which influence our action, but we 
must keep it always in subordination to other 
and clearer motives. 

Another reason given for the imprisonment 
of evil-doers is the deterring not only of the 
criminals themselves, but of others also from the 
commission of similar offenses. If this were 
the chief reason for the punishment of criminals, 


it would appear that the severest and the most 
painful punishments would be the most effec- 
tual. This, indeed, has been the assumption untU 
a very recent day. Not seventy years ago, the 
state prison of Connecticut was a cavern in 
the town of Granby, unlighted and unventi- 
lated, — a cave that had been excavated in min- 
ing copper ore. The passage to it was down a 
shaft by means of a ladder. "The horrid gloom 
of these dungeons," says one who visited them, 
"can be realized only by those who pass among 
their solitary windings. The impenetrable vast- 
ness supporting the awful mass above, impend- 
ing as if ready to crush one to atoms, the drop- 
ping waters trickling like tears from its sides, 
the unearthly echoes, all conspire to strike the 
beholders aghast with amazement and horror." 
Here from 30 to 100 prisoners were crowded 
together at night, their feet fastened to bars 
of iron, and chains about their necks attached 
to beams above. The caves reeked with filth, 
occasioning incessant contagious fevers. The 
prison was the scene of constant outbreaks, and 
the most cruel and degrading punishments failed 
to reform the convicts. Yet no less a man 
than the first President Dwight of Yale College, 
who visited this prison on his travels through 
Connecticut, points to it in his published letters 
as an admirable prison, his approval resting 


largely on the powerful deterrent effect which 
it must have upon the minds of intending male- 
factors. No more humane or broad-minded man 
was alive in the first quarter of the last century 
than President Dwight; this judgment of his 
serves well as an indication of the change which 
has taken place in public opinion respecting the 
uses of punishment. 

If it were true that the privations and severi- 
ties of punishment did effectually deter men 
from entering upon the ways of transgression, 
then the state might be justified in inflicting 
them ; it would, indeed, be a merciful thing to 
do. But as a matter of history, this method of 
repressing crime has not been found effectual. 
Increasing the severity of penalties has had no 
effect to diminish crime. In the days when 
penalties have been most severe and most rigor- 
ously inflicted, crime has rapidly increased. 
All that human ingenuity can do to make pun- 
ishment terrible has been done in past genera- 
tions, and the outcome of it all is recorded in 
the maxim, "Crime thrives upon severe penal- 
ties." Says Mr. Henry C. Lea: "The wheel, 
the caldron of boiling oil, burning alive, bury- 
ing alive, flaying alive, tearing apart with wild 
horses, were the ordinary expedients by which 
the criminal jurist sought to deter men by 
frightful examples which would make a pro- 


found impression on a not over-sensitive popu- 
lation. An Anglo-Saxon law punishes a fe- 
male slave convicted of theft by making eighty 
other females each bring three pieces of wood 
and burn her to death, while each contributes 
a fine besides. The Carolina, or criminal code 
of Charles V., issued in 1530, is a hideous cata- 
logue of blinding, mutilation, tearing with hot 
pincers, burning alive, and breaking on the 
wheel. In England prisoners were boiled to 
death even as lately as 1542." Not only were 
these tortures practiced with a persistence which 
seems to us fiendish, but the death penalty, in 
one form or another, was dealt out with no re- 
straint. In the sixteenth century English law 
punished by death two hundred and sixty-three 
different offenses, and as late as one hundred 
years ago the list of capital crimes footed up 
two hundred. If such stringent measures of 
dealing with law-breakers had no deterrent ef- 
fect ; if, on the contrary, crime increased under 
them, then the expectation of lessening the 
amount of crime by the severities of punishment 
is proved by the experience of the world to be 
a bootless expectation. That punishment, when 
reasonable and certain, does have some deter- 
rent effect upon criminals and intending crimi- 
nals is probable; but to rely on this as a main 
reason for punishment would be unwise. 


Another reason for punishment is the pro- 
tection of society. It is assumed that certain 
persons have become dangerous members of so- 
ciety, and must be confined for the security of 
others. The man who breaks into houses or 
robs stables or burns down buildings or coun- 
terfeits money or waylays passengers or assaults 
women is deemed a man unfit to be at large, 
and the law restrains him of his liberty. That 
society has a right thus to protect itself is. not 
questioned. As I have said already, these are 
not the only dangerous people, and the day will 
come when we shall learn to deal with the 
classes that are most dangerous; but such of- 
fenses as I have described, and many others like 
item, warrant us in putting the men who com- 
mit them where they will be deprived of power 
to do harm. 

But when we have got these men under our 
power, what are we going to do with them? 
Has the state — have we, the people of the state 
— discharged our whole duty to them when 
we have shut them up in a secure and not too 
uncomfortable place iot a certain number of 
years as a penalty for their offenses? 

"No," says the practical citizen; "that is 
not enough; we must make them work. It 
costs a good deal to keep them ; they must be 
made to pay for their keeping by their labor. 


The best prison is the prison that comes the 
nearest to paying expenses." But this demand 
may well be challenged. Even on the score of 
economy, there is a penny wisdom that is pound 

Suppose that our prisons are administered 
with a steady view to economy of administra- 
tion, and with slight regard for the reformation 
of the prisoners. And suppose that, as a con- 
sequence, fifty or sixty per cent, of these pris- 
oners, when released, are worse men than when 
they were incarcerated; suppose that they re- 
turn to the ways of crime, and, after inflicting 
grave injuries upon society, some of which may 
be irreparable, are again apprehended and re- 
turned to prison. The damage which they have 
done while they were at large may be consider- 
able, and the cost of arrest and trial and pre- 
liminary confinement is always heavy. Such 
a class of men become a heavy burden, on the 

Now suppose that, instead of administering 
our prisons with a view to making money out 
of the prisoners, we had administered them with 
a view to making men of them, and suppose 
that as a result of this treatment not more than 
twenty per cent, of them ultimately returned to 
prison; that the rest of them became industri- 
ous, self-supporting, honorable citizens, — is it 

rv \ 


not entirely conceivable that this method would 
be found to pay better, even in dollars and 
cents, than that which puts the principal em- 
phasis on financial returns from prison labor? 

But, putting aside the question of economy, 
there is a sacred obligation to these prisoners 
which is not discharged when we have kept 
them in confinement during their allotted terms 
and made them work for their living. These 
men are our brethren. Nothing that they have 
done, nothing that they can do, cancels the fact 
that they are the children of our Father in 
heaven, and that each one of us owes to them 
a brother's love. Jesus Christ, the Elder Bro- 
ther, said, "I was m prison, and ye came unto 
me." By these words he identifies himself with 
every prisoner. By these words he bids us dis- 
cern, with the eye of faith, elements of Christ- 
liness in every prisoner^ In every prisoner 
there are divine possibilities. That is his doc- 
trine, and it reveals our duty. 

That this is the dictate of Christian love 
there can be no doubt. As Christian ministers, 
you can preach no other doctrine. As Chris- 
tian men and women, we can have no other 
thought or wish concerning these unfortunate 
brethren of ours than to help them to become 
good men and women, honorable and useful 
members of society. Whatever we can do to 


awaken this purpose in them we are bound to 
do. If we are disciples of Him who came to 
seek and sa^e the lost, these are the hapless 
ones to whom our We will first go forth. 

That such should be the attitude of the whole 
body of Christian people toward these unfor- 
tunate brethren is not for one moment to be 
gainsaid. But what should be the attitude of 
the state toward them? What should the state, 
through its prison boards and prison officers 
and prison discipline, undertake to do for these 
people? What shall you and I, speaking in 
the name of our Master Christ, bid them do? 
We can have but one message for them. There 
is only one law of human conduct. The state 
must be simply Christian in its treatment of 
prisoners. Can it set before itself any other 
or lower purpose than this, to reclaim them, to 
make men of them, to restore them to the ways 
of useful citizenship ? It seems to me that very 
slight reflection will make it clear that the state 
can entertain no lower aim than the reformation 
of these prisoners. Any other policy would be 
suicidal. The state depends for its existence on 
good citizens. Lacking these, it ceases to be. 
Whatever else it produces, this one product it 
must not fail to secure. Its system of educa- 
tion is directed to this end. It cannot suffer 
the standards of citizenship to be lowered. Now 


in these prisoners it finds a body of men and 
women whose citizenship is defective. They 
are here in confinement for that simple reason. 
They are here in the care of the state. The 
first business of the state, in dealing with them, 
must be to seek to cure the defects of their citi- 
zenship and to make them sound and safe mem- 
bers of the body politic. This is the dictate of 
self-preservation on the part of the state; to 
fail of this is to expose its own life to deadly 

Every prison, then, must be primarily a re- 
formatory. Punishment must be ancillary to 
reformation. To vindicate law, to terrify of- 
fenders, to seclude dangerous persons, are sec- 
ondary considerations; the main thing is to 
change defective citizens into good citizens. 

There is, however, a considerable class of 
penologists in these days who deny that any 
such thing is possible. Criminals, as a class, 
they maintain, are bom criminals and cannot 
be otherwise ; crime is due to some organic mal- 
formation or other ; the shape of the skull and 
the character of the convolutions of the brain, 
and other such anatomical and physiological 
conditions determine the man's character. 
Thus Dr. Wines summarizes these specula- 
tions : — 

"Among the anatomical peculiarities noticed 


by students like Lombroso, Ferri, Benedikt, and 
many others who might be named, are the shape 
of the skull, including cranial asymmetry, micro- 
cephalism, and macrocephalism. A very fre- 
quent defect is insufficient cranial development, 
markedly in the anterior portion. A receding 
forehead is common. Criminals are said to 
have a disproportionate tendency to the sugar- 
loaf or pointed head. Lombroso makes much 
of the unusual depth of the median occipital 
fossa. This is observable in the skull of Char- 
lotte Corday, belonging to the collection of 
Prince Boland Bonaparte, which was exhibited 
at the Social International Congress of Crimi- 
nal Anthropology at Paris in 1889, and gave 
rise to a somewhat heated discussion of the 
question whether she was in fact a criminal or 
a patriot. The same authority calls attention to 
the exaggeration of the orbital arches and frontal 
sinuses. Thieves are said by one criminologist 
to have small heads and murderers to have 
large heads. . . . The shape of the skull affects 
the countenance in which have been observed 
certain deformities of the nose and ear, pecul- 
iarities in the coloring of the eye, irregularities 
of the teeth, prominence of the cheek-bones, 
elongation of the lower jaw, and the like. . . . 
The prominence of the criminal ear has been 
especially noted. Prisoners are said to have 


wrinkled faces; male prisoners have often scanty 
beards ; many hairy women are found in prison. 
Bed-haired men and women do not seem to be 
given to the commission of crime. Similar re- 
marks might be quoted relative to the skeleton, 
such as that convicts have long arms, pigeon 
breasts, and sloping shoulders."^ 

Something may doubtless be learned from 
these anatomical investigations respecting the 
causes of crime, but it is easy to build theories 
on narrow inductions. What is a criminal? 
He is a man who has broken some human law. 
But suppose that the law is unjust or unneces- 
sary. A man may in such a case be a criminal 
without being charged with moral obliquity ; he 
may even belong to the noble army of heroes 
and martyrs. Take the case alluded to, that 
of Charlotte Corday. The anthropologist who 
thought her a low murderer proved his theory 
by her skull ; but the others who thought her a 
heroine, the Jeanne d' Arc of the Bevolution, or 
as Lamartine, in his glowing eulogy, described 
her, "the angel of the assassination," found it 
easy to show that her skull was normal. The 
political theories of these investigators seem to 
have warped their scientific conclusions. By 
such methods the skull of John Brown or 
William Lloyd Garrison would be studied by 

1 Punishment and Heformation^ pp. 232-234. 


biologists south of Mason and Dixon's line as 
that of a traitor, and by those north of that line 
as that of a patriot. It is evident that much 
of this reasoning about physiological peculiari- 
ties rests on a very insecure foundation. 

As I have reflected upon it, one question has 
been forced upon me. Is it not possible that 
the physical defects of some of these criminals 
may have been the occasion rather than the 
cause of their misdoing? Is it not possible, at 
least in some cases, that their unprepossessing 
and repulsive appearance has led to a treatment 
of them by kindred and neighbors which has 
tended toward the development in them of un- 
social tempers and habits and thus to a life of 
crime ? Children who are so unfortunate as to 
be defective in appearance are apt to be made 
aware of the fact and to feel that they are out- 
casts. If such a child is sensitive and resent- 
ful, such unsympathetic and contemptuous treat- 
ment will aggravate all his bad qualities and 
stifle his better ones ; it will be easy for him to 
lose the sense of social obligation and to drift 
into the ranks of the enemies of society. Thus 
he becomes a criminal, not because the shape of 
his head or the conformation of his countenance 
made him one, but because of the lack of kind- 
ness in the hearts of his fellow men. 

Physical defect and malformation may have 


their influence in producing criminal types, but 
this explanation is in great danger of being 
overworked. And it is well for you and me to 
be conservative in our estimate of the number 
of persons who are bom criminals and who can- 
not be reclaimed. I believe that the number 
of these is small, that the great majority of men 
in our jails and prisons are amenable to good 
influences, and could be saved if we had only 
faith and hope and love enough to save them. 
If our prisons were, in the true sense of the 
word, reformatories; if the energies of the state 
were bent to the work of restoring these people 
to citizenship, rather than to the enterprise of 
making money out of them, there would be good 
hope of saving many of them. And this is the 
end at which humane and Christian sentiment 
must aim. This is the obligation which we 
must bring home to the citizens, in all our 
teaching. Our prisons must be transformed 
into reformatories. It is possible that we may 
have need of separate places of confinement for 
those who have proved incorrigible, places in 
which there is less resort to educational meth- 
ods; but the great majority of our prisoners are 
young men, concerning whom no such hopeless 
estimate can be entertained. The assumption 
is that they can be reformed. To this end all 
the discipline of the prison must be directed. 


There is need, therefore, of the most careful 
study of the character of every prisoner, of his 
history, his environment, his physical condition, 
his habits of mind, that the treatment, so far as 
possible, may be adapted to his case. The dis- 
cipline of the prison should be adapted to arouse 
the intellect, to awaken hope and self-respect, 
to cultivate habits of industry, to train the eye 
and the hand as well as the mind, to encourage 
thrift and providence, to strengthen all the 
qualities by which a man is fitted to maint>ain 
himself honestly in the outside world. 

Sespecting the details of prison management 
there is no time to speak. There has been much 
discussion as to the wisdom of confining prisoners 
in separate cells, and allowing them no inter- 
course with their fellow prisoners. In such a 
prison every man's cell is his workshop also; 
the kind of labor in which he is kept busy must 
be some simple handicraft; in the modem sys- 
tems of industrial production he cannot well be 
trained. There is but one such prison in this 
country, — that of eastern Pennsylvania, — 
though there are many in Europe. "The advan- 
tages claimed for this type by its advocates," 
says Professor Henderson, "are these : it removes 
the man from evil associates; it trains him as 
an individual; it increases the personal influ- 
ence of the authorities and teachers and dimin- 


ishes the influence of criminals; there are op- 
portunities for reflection; the convict who is 
disposed to cut loose from the criminal class 
cannot be identified afterward by professional 
criminals and so led back into evil ways by the 
fear of betrayal. " ^ It may be practicable to treat 
short-term prisoners in this way, but it is doubt- 
ful whether the best reformatory results can be 
wrought out in solitary confinement. The trou- 
ble with the average prisoner is that he is quite 
too much of an individualist; what he needs to 
learn is how to take his place in society. ''The 
natural life of man," says the authority last 
quoted, "is in cooperation with his fellows, and 
a system should tend to prepare convicts for 
freedom." 2 Bad as the associations of the con- 
gregate prison may be, there is a possibility 
through them of producing better results than 
by the other method. 

In the best reformatories industrial training 
is always regarded as a chief factor in reforma- 
tion. Many of the prisoners are destitute of 
skill, and have never formed habits of industry; 
their primary need is the power to do some use- 
ful thing and the habit of active employment. 
Such training as the reformatory affords "lays 

^ Introduction to the Study of the Dependent, Defective^ and 
Delinquent Classes, p. 281, 
2 Ibid., p. 282. 


a broad foundation for later developments of 
skill in special directions; it awakens the dull- 
ard to increased quickness of special activity; 
it helps the mathematically deficient to master 
form, number, proportion; and it enables the 
passionate and ungovernable to restrain and 
direct their impulses of temper and appetite." ^ 
The industrial work of the true reformatory 
takes, therefore, the character of a trade school 
rather than that of a factory; the output of 
commodities is subordinated to the production 
of manhood. 

In the best reformatories physical training in 
gymnasiums is also provided, and many of the 
kinds of apparatus found in a sanitarium, in- 
cluding baths, massage, and electricity, are em- 
ployed. Physical renovation sometimes proves 
to be a great aid in the regeneration of charac- 
ter. Opportunities of intellectual training are 
also freely offered; everything is done that can 
be done to awaken and stimulate the mental 
powers, and to create purer tastes and larger 
interests. Mr. Brockway sometimes playfully 
speaks of the Elmira Beformatory as his imi- 
versity, and it does indeed furnish to the in- 
mates a great deal of sound and uplifting edu- 

1 Introduction to the Study of the Dependent^ Defective, and 
Delinquent Classes, p. 287. 


Eeligious teaching of some kind is generally 
provided for prisons, but there is reason to fear 
that it is not always of the highest order. A 
merely technical religionism would not be of 
much avail; the man needed for this work is 
the man of deepest insight, of broadest know- 
ledge of human nature, of largest sympathy, of 
finest aptitude to teach and inspire and lead. 
The ordinary political methods do not select 
this kind of man for such a place. But this 
much may be said, — the entire administration 
of the true reformatory is Christian in its mo- 
tive and method; its aim is to save men. It 
would seem to be advisable, therefore, for us as 
Christian ministers to keep ourselves in closest 
sympathy with all such efforts ; to make it clear 
that we recognize their essential Christianity, 
and to forward them by all our influence. 

Upon one principle modern penologists are 
agreed, that of the indeterminate, or terminable 
sentence. The attempt of our legislatures and 
courts to fix the term of a sentence in such a 
way as to proportion the penalty to the offense 
— "to make the punishment fit the crime" — 
is generally regarded as a grave failure. The 
words of Mr. Charlton T. Lewis strongly ex- 
press the absurdity of this atteinpt. "We em- 
ploy our best men, educated men, highly traihed 
lawyers of incorruptible J^i^^ and heart, the 


picked men of the commnnity, to sit as judges 
on the bench, and there to do what God himself 
could not accomplish because it is a contradic- 
tion in terms. We ask them to find the just 
proportion between the penalties imposed and 
the demerit of offenses and of the men who com- 
mitted them on the basis of the evidence in vir- 
tue of which they are convicted. But the testi- 
mony is inadequate. If a judge were omniscient, 
it would only be by defying the law which 
placed him upon the bench that he would dare 
to import into his judgment any element but 
that which has found its way, through the quar- 
reling and quibbling of coimsel and of wit- 
nesses, to the record. And on the basis of that, 
is he to sit in judgment upon the intellect, the 
character, the life, the future of his fellow man, 
and decree what his fate shall be? That is 
what we require of him."^ For this reason it 
appears to be more rational to leave the ques- 
tion of the length of the term of imprisonment 
open to be decided by the man himself. The 
court might fix a superior limit beyond which 
the imprisonment should not extend, setting it 
far enough away so that there should be ample 
time for reformation. Within that period it 
should be understood that the prisoner has his 

^ Report of Chicago International Congress of Charities j Cor^ 
rection, and Philanthropy : Preyention of Crime, p. 98. 


\ fate in his own hands. The question simply ia 
(Whether he is fit for citizenship. When, by his 
industry, his obedience to law, his evident desire 
to improve the advantages offered him, he seems 
to be ready to take his place in society and 
to be a peaceable and useful citizen, then, and 
not till then, he should be permitted to go forth. 
The prisoner's record, carefully observed, should 
furnish the basis on which he is judged. If 
he has become a sound citizen, the prison is no 
place for him, and the state has no reason for 
keeping him there. 

But the test of the prison is not adequate. 
Within its walls the prisoner is safe from many 
temptations; no matter how exemplary his 
conduct may be under those restraints, we 
can hardly tell whether he can stand alone until 
he has been tried. Therefore it is needful to 
couple with the terminable sentence the parole 
system. ^^ According to the principle of the 
best modem legislation," says Professor Hender- 
son, '^prisoners may be discharged conditionally 
before the expiration of the maximum term of 
their sentence, if their former lives and their 
behavior in prison warrant the privilege. The 
prisoner is permitted to go free on his parole, 
on his promise to avoid evil associations and 
haunts, to follow his calling regularly, and to 
report at certain stated intervals. He shoiild 


not be released until a place is found for him 
to work, for idleness and want will lead him 
straight back to crime. The employer or other 
responsible citizen or officer is asked to confirm 
his report of good conduct. At the end of his 
term of sentence, or even before, he may be dis- 
charged from surveillance, upon the recommen- 
dation of the superintendent. If the convict 
violate his parole and fall into vicious and crim- 
inal ways, he may be arrested and returned for 
further incarceration and discipline."^ 

It must be admitted that even this method 
is liable to abuses. No method can be insured 
against them. Unscrupulous and corrupt men 
in prison boards or wardenships may release 
unfit men. The personal influence of the friends 
of prisoners may be allowed more weight than 
the facts of the prisoner's record. Only by the 
greatest conscientiousness and firmness on the 
part of the tribunal which grants the parole, 
and the most intelligent and vigilant supervision 
of the prisoner after he is set free, can the best 
results be secured. But experience seems to 
show that this method of conditional liberation 
is wise and salutary. Men are stimulated and 
encouraged by it to form good habits, to choose 
safe associations, and to lead industrious and 
honorable lives. 

^ Introduction to the Study of the Dependent^ Defective^ and 
Delinquent Classes, pp. 292, 293. 


Certainly, the whole effect upon a prisoner of 
a regimen which assumes that he is to become 
a good citizen, which directs all its efforts to 
the task of helping him to become a good citi- 
zen, and which sends him out into the world 
with the expectation and the hope that he will 
be a good citizen, must be better than that of 
a method which simply confines him, for a term 
of years, as a retribution for the wrong which 
he has done ; which makes as much money out 
of him as it can while he is in prison, and then 
opens its doors and drives him out into a world 
which is afraid of him, without knowing or car- 
ing much what becomes of him. 
' By this method the care of discharged prison- 
ers becomes part of the business of the state, 
and there is less need of voluntaiy organizations 
for this purpose. There will always be need, 
however, of the exercise of a Christian friend- 
ship toward persons coming forth from the dis- 
cipline of the prison, with a cloud upon their 
reputation and the consciousness of the suspi- 
cion and distrust of their fellow men. As things 
now are, it is the expectation of the penitentiary 
managers that fully fifty per cent, of those serv- 
ing their first term in prison will return sooner 
or later; the percentage of those serving their 
second or third term is much greater. This 
may seem to some clear proof that these persons 


are bom criminals, but the explanation in the 
cases of many of them is much simpler. If we 
add to the fact of the contamination of character 
and the loss of self-respect which they have 
suffered in prison the other deadly fact that 
when they come out into the world they are apt 
to have no friends and no opportunities of self- 
support, that the avenues to honest thrift are 
generally closed to them, we shall not wonder 
that they fall back into the ways of crime. 

A letter written by one of these men recently 
discharged in my own city to one who was 
known to be a friend of the prisoner has been 
placed in my hands. Part of it I will give you, 
in its very words. Its artless directness and 
pathos are more convincing than any rhetorical 
improvements which I could make : — 

"The main reason for applying to you is that 
I am right now under desperate circumstances. 
I have honestly and earnestly searched for hon- 
est employment all over this state and other 
states. I don't care how hard the work is or 
what it may be so long as I can support myself 
by it, so if you know any one you can send me 
to with any possible show of a job, you will be 
doing me a great kindness and God knows I 
will heartily appreciate and will make it my 
business to show you that I heartily appreciate. 
It is my earnest desire to do what is honorable 


and right, but as my friend may have told 

you, I have been so unfortunate as to have served 
time in the Ohio State's Prison and this seems 
to keep me back. Peoplie as a rule do not want 
to employ an ex-prisoner. Now all I want is 
just one show or chance to redeem myself and 
show to you and those who employ me that I 
wiU be an honest, honorable man if people wiU 
only let me. 

"I have been turned down so much here and 
there, and by some who profess to be Christian 
people, until I have almost lost all confidence in 
all people. I am a man that believes in law 
and order, and I believe that a man should be 
punished for continual wrong-doing, and I was 
fearfully punished for all I done, and my God 
knows I don't want such a horrible thing to 
come into my life again. I am ready and will- 
ing to do anything to escape or get away from 
anything that would lead me* up to a return of 
such things; but now, see here; when a man 
puts forth his best efforts to get honest employ- 
ment, and it is his real desire to do right and 
he is in need, but is turned down all around, the 
devil keeps digging at him, suggesting this or 
that, — I tell you it is a severe trial when a 
man is idle and in need. I am trying to escape 
from the works of the devil and his service, for 
oh my I how well I know what they are, — no- 


thing but woe, suffering, misery, disgrace, con- 
tempt. I want to get into something better, 
and it does seem impossible for me to get up to 
that alone; I must have help, and I am sure 
that I am willing to lift my part of the load." 

If any man or woman can listen to this cry 
of a struggling soiil without feeling that some- 
thing is dreadfully wrong here, and that we 
who are the servants and followers of Jesus 
Christ have a responsibility in the matter, no 
words that I could use woiild make the case 
plainer. So long as the prison system now gen- 
erally in use is maintained, and the state con- 
tents itself with punishing criminals instead of 
reforming them, and dismisses them at the end 
of their term with no provision for their future, 
a heavy responsibility will rest upon the Chris- 
tian men and women of the community for the 
care of these most unfortunate people. I can- 
not stay to indicate the ways in which this 
friendship can be extended; the circumstances 
of different commimities are so unlike that it is 
not easy to make practical suggestions. I only 
lay it upon your consciences that those coming 
out of prison, not less than those who are in 
prison, are in deep need of the saving love of 
all who have the mind of Christ. 

Turning now, for a moment, toward those at 
the other end of this dolorous way, those who 


are standing upon the threshold of a criminal 
career, we are in the presence of an opportunity 
more hopeful and an obligation more urgent. 
It is probable that the vast majority of those 
who fall under the censure of the criminal law 
ought not, upon their first offense, to be per- 
mitted to go to prison ; it would be far better 
for them and for society if they could be spared 
this humiliation. They have violated the law, 
and they ought to be made to feel its power, 
but there are better ways of dealing with them 
than to shut them up in prison. Massachusetts 
has substituted for the imprisonment of such 
misdemeanants a probation system. The of- 
fender is tried, and if convicted, the sentence is 
suspended; he is placed under the custody of a 
probation officer, whose business it is to look 
afiber him and to whom he must report. ^^The 
court," says Mr. Spalding, "bids them go and 
sin no more, and requires its officers to see that 
they do so. The continuance of the probation- 
er's liberty depends on the use he makes of it. 
This is bS leniency. It is not mercy. It is a 
practical, business-like way of dealing with the 
criminal. The probation officer is his custo- 
dian, as much as a warden could be, and the 
impending imprisonment is more salutary and 
more restraining than actual confinement, in 
most cases." The prison, under the best influ- 


ences, is apt to be a school of crime. First of- 
fenders, who are inclined, when they enter the 
place, to turn the discipline to good account, 
are often discouraged by the influences sur- 
rounding them. The hardened and hopeless 
criminals assure them that there is no use in 
trying to reform ; that the face of society will 
be set against them when they go out; that they 
might as well make up their minds to be out- 
casts. Many who are sent to prison for some 
offense which' does not represent their habitual 
conduct come forth from these influences far 
worse than when they first encountered them. 
The prison is to multitudes a savor of death 
unto death. For this reason it is greatly to be 
wished that first offenders might be spared these 
contaminating associations. It is often said 
that the worst use to which jou can put a man 
is to hang him. The next worse use to which 
you can put him is to shut him up in prison as 
the associate of many who have become habitual 
criminals, and who Le likely to draw him into 
the same downward road. My own strong be- 
lief is that this method of probation is likely 
to be largely extended; that a considerable 
percentage of those now incarcerated will by 
and by be kept out of prison, and guarded and 
guided into better life. A reformatory, whose 
methods are directed to tbe restoration of man- 


hood, is far better than the ordinary peniten- 
tiary for most of these offenders ; but even for 
those whom we commit to the reformatories it 
is not improbable that a large majority would 
win their manhood more rapidly and more se- 
curely under the vigilant tutelage of wise and 
kind officials, in the school of the outside world. 
The one truth that comes home to us as we 
study this great class of social delinquents is 
the truth that the state, in dealing with them, 
has upon its hands a task of great difficulty. 
If it could be content with punishing criminals, 
that would be a comparatively easy matter. 
But reclaiming them, saving them, making men 
of them, is quite another thing. How plain it 
is that for this great service we must have men 
of the highest and strongest character. The 
warden of a prison, the superintendent of a re- 
formatory, ought to be the best man in the state. 
The highest are not too high, the wisest are not 
too wise, for this sublime undertaking. "Hon- 
est he must be," says Dr. Wines, "and kind, 
for if not kind, he is apt to be lacking in per- 
sonal bravery. But if he is to be the centre 
..d ™i..plg of educational ».d rrformator, 
influences, he must be unsurpassed as a teacher 
and an example of purity. The work of uplift- 
ing the degraded is one which calls for the high- 
est qualities of soul and braiQ. It Is a work 


whicli it would not have shamed Phillips Brooks 
to have undertaken at Charlestown or Concord, 
and until we have the best men in this position 
we cannot hope for the best results. When the 
personal fate of a thousand or fifteen hundred 
men depends on the appHcation to duty, the in- 
sight, the moral honesty of another man clothed 
with ahnost despotic power, it will not answer 
to give that power into the possession of one 
who does not understand his responsibilities or 
who is unequal to them." ^ 

Consider, also, what it means to put the 
whole force of an institution devoted to such 
ends into the hands of the political spoilsmen 
and let them ravage it every two or three years, 
removing every man who could have gained any 
qualification for his work, and filling his place 
with the henchman of some political boss. 
Could any penitentiary do the kind of work of 
which we have been speaking under such a regi- 
men as this? The subjection of our prisons to 
this corrupt domination, the use of them as 
tramping grounds and camping grounds for 
those who make a business of politics, is itself 
a gigantic crime against civUization. 

I have only touched, here and there on the 
surface, a subject too large to be discussed with 
any thoroughness in a single lecture. But I 

^ PunishmerU and Beformationy pp. 227, 228. 


hope that I have enabled you to see that it is a 
subject which the Christian church and the 
Christian minister cannot ignore. The disciples 
of Him who came to seek and save the lost have 
no more urgent business on their hands than 
that of ministering in his name to his brethren 
in prison. 


We are to study at this time three prevalent 
forms of social Tice: what is known, by emi- 
nence, as the social evil, the gambling mania, 
and the curse of drunkenness. It is evident 
that the Christian pulpit cannot ignore these 
portentous forms of social disorder. There is 
no community, however rural or remote, in 
which their ravages are not found; there is no 
congregation, however select or sheltered, in 
which their baneful influences are not felt. 
The work of salvation, as it will present itself 
to you in your ministry, in its practical aspects, 
will be, quite largely, the work of rescuing men 
from the bondage of these vices, and protecting 
them against their insidious temptations. Some 
of the most pathetic appeals to which you wil} 
ever listen will come to you from men and 
women, beaten and humiliated and hopeless in 
their struggle with these forms of evil habit, 
begging you to tell them what they must do to 
be saved. You have the gospel message to give 


them then, and nothing can supersede that. 
/The one thing needful for every one of them is 
that he shall fully understand the nature of the 
help within his reach, — the grace that waits to 
give him the victory in his struggle, the bless- 
edness of the forgiving grace, the reinforcement 
of his wiU which wiU come to him through the 
realization of the constant presence of an al- 
ymighty Friend. 

The gospel remedy for these social vices — the 
primary remedy -is the invig^ation^oLthe 
manhoo d, so that it shall be able to resist and 
overcome the temptation. I fear that the im- 
portance of this has been greatly underrated, of 
late, by social reformers. The entire stress of 
the demand for reform has been laid upon 
changing the environment, rather than upon 
strengthening the character. The efforts of the 
great multitude of philanthropic kborers in this 
field have been concentrated upon the problem of 
getting temptation but of the way of men, rather 
than upon the problem of equipping men to 
resist temptation. This has gone so far as to 
weaken, perceptibly, the sense of moral respon- 
sibility on the part of those addicted to vicious 
habits, and to make them feel that they cannot 
be expected to live upright lives so long as any 
chances of indulgence are open to them. The 
impression made by the popular presentation of 


any of these reforms upon the mind of a drunk- 
ard or a gambler or a libertine would be that 
t he community or the public officials or the pur -*^ 
veyors of vice are to blame for his degradati on ; I 
t hat he is a victim, more than a sinner; fEa t 
there is no very loud call on him to be a man s o 
l on^ as there are opportunities of being a brute ^j 
It is a terrible mistake to permit any such im- 
pression to be made upon the mind of any man 
who has fallen into evil habits. The one th ing" 
for him to do is to stand and fight for hiaJUgn- 
hood. He is not saved bv Ae removal of temp- 
tation. He is only saved when he becomes man 


enough to face and conquer the temptation 
There is strength for him by which he may 
stand and overcome. The grace of God is sufiBi- 
cient for him ; the strength of God is made per- 
fect in his weakness. There is no promise that 
temptation shall be wholly removed. It will 
never in this world be wholly removed from any 
man's path. To make his salvation depend 
entirely or mainly on the removal of temptation 
is to expose his soul to mortal peril. And I 
cannot help feeling that the effect of the tem- 
perance propaganda, especially, for the last forty 
years, has largely been to undermine character, 
to disparage the moral forces, and to turn the 
thoughts of men away from the central truth of 
the whole question. 



This is not to say that the environment is of 
no importance. It is of great importance, and 
we are bound to make it as favorable as we can 
to virtue. If we pray that we may not be led 
into temptation, we must do what we can to 
lessen the temptations that surroimd every 
man. S omething can be done in t his direction 
by law, as we shall see. We must work at both 
ends of the problem. T hc^ mistake of w hich I 
axijgeakmg is a nuitaEe^r5?5^^ti^a mis- 
:e o i emphasis. We have been putt ing the 
stress o f our teaching in the wrong p lace. We 
'^ave^arped and hammered so constantly upon 
the saloon and the liquor traffic and the restric- 
tions of law th^t the moral aspects of the case 
have been pushed far into the background, and 
the respotisibility of every man for his own con- 
duct, the sin of brutal indulgence, the possibility 
and duty of being a man, and the truth that 
God is able to save to the uttermost all who 
turn from their evil ways, have been treated a^ 
secondary and subordinate motives. They are 
not secondary and subordinate motives ; they 
are primary and paramount motives ; and the 
method of reform which reverses the divine 
order, and makes that least which is greatest 
and that greatest which is least, is bound to 
have disastrous consequences. The failures in 
our measures of social reform, so far as these 


Tioes are concerned, may be, at least in part, 
attributed to the faulty perspective in the pop- 
ular teaching. 

The mistake may be due, in part, to the aber- 
rations of the Zeitgeist, who has been somewhat 
out of his head for the last generation or so, 
having got hold of some crazy and incomplete 
theories of evolution, and being inclined to re- 
gard the environ ment as the sole and decisive 
foetor-Tff^e development of life! But "Be is 
now^ommg to himself and beginning to admit 
that the spiritual forces have their part to play 
in the great drama; and while he will never 
suffer us again to neglect the power of circum- 
stance, our thought will not, I trust, be so en- 
thralled by it as it has been during the decades 
just past. In the period during which you will 
exercise your ministry, it may be less difficult 
than it has been in recent years to make social 
reformers see that the truth which must never 
be minimized or blurred is the responsibility of 
e very man for his own manhood, a nd his duty, 
I q the presence of whatever hostile influences, 
to fight the good fight aiid overcome. 

1. Wbenwe come to consider the nature and 
the magnitude of that form of vice which is 
known as the social evil, and the relation thereto 
of the Christian church and the Christian pulpit, 
we find ourselves in the presence of a problem 


which the pulpit must treat with great discre- 
tion. How much can be done by law for the 
abatement of this evil I do not clearly know. 
It seems to be a monstrous thing that sections 
of our cities should be overrun with this curse; 
that there should be large areas in which a 
decent woman cannot appear by night without 
danger nor a reputable man without suspicion. 
The resolute attempt of Dr. Parkhurst to abol- 
ish these plague spots was the dictate of sound 
moral feeling. But it is asserted by those who 
ought to know that these heroic measures spread 
the infection instead of stamping it out, and 
that the conditions in New York have been far 
worse since that day than they were before. 
This may have been the result of a failure to 
persist in this drastic treatment; it may be that 
a resolute and continuous effort to suppress vile 
houses would succeed in ridding the community 
of them. A recent article in the " Outlook," 
narrating the battle of Father Doyle and the 
PauHst Fathers with the social evil on the West 
Side of New York, seems to show that when the 
people of the vicinage are thoroughly aroused, 
and when the police authorities can be de- 
pended on, the more flagrant exhibitions of this 
iniquity can be prevented. But such measures 
can be effectual only when all sections of the 
city are united in the effort; otherwise the pest 


is only driven from one ward to another, and 
the curse is simply shifted. 

What law can do, in existing conditions, for 
the abatement of this evil is not altogether clear. 
But it seems that in civilized communities it 
might, at least, be prevented from flaunting its 
indecencies in the streets and displaying its 
enticements at doors and windows. I do not 
think that we shall have risen to a very high 
level of morality, when we have merely deter- 
mined that the public highways shall not be the 
market-places of lust and shame, and that snares 
shaU not be openly set, in the sight of every 
passer-by, for unwary feet. It is ridiculous to 
say that the plying of this axjcursed traffic in 
the streets cannot be prevented. Such open 
allurements exist in no city without the conni- 
vance of the police, and can be abolished in 
any city whenever the police authorities choose 
to abolish them. So much as this we may 
demand of the law in every community, and the 
accomplishment of this would be a great gain 
in many of our communities. 

One measure, in alleviation of the injuries 
wrought by this iniquity, may be confidently 
supported by all of us, — that is, the establish- 
ment and maintenance of places of refuge in 
which the women and girls who are ready to 
abandon their evil life may be received and 


cared for. It is a dreadful fate in which the 
woman is involved who finds herself swept down- 
ward in the mad currents of this life of degra- 
dation ; to escape from it is not ea«y ; it is 
rarely the case that there are any kindred who 
wiU offer her a shelter; few dient homes are 
open to her; she is apt to feel, in her remorseful 
moments, that she has made her bed and must 
lie in it. Doubtless to many of these hapless 
children of sin there often comes a strong sense 
of the misery and woe of it all and a deep wish 
for some way out of it, but the way of deliver- 
ance does not appear. Such a door of hope 
ought to be opened and held open in every large 
city. It may be the verdict of experience that 
not many of those who enter upon this horrible 
path ever leave it until health is gone and life 
is blasted; but the grace of salvation is for the 
few even when the many refuse it, and if by 
any means we can save some, we must not neg- 
lect to provide a way of salvation. Such work 
is, I believe, more hopeful than many persons 
think; the experience of those who have had 
much to do with it gives good ground of hope. 
The Florence Crittenton Homes, which have 
been established in many cities, largely through 
the faith and devotion of one man, have a bright 
record to show of lives that have been rescued 
from this pit and made clean and pure. It must 


be remembered that many young girls are drawn 
into these currents almost unaware; they have 
been betrayed and abandoned ; a place of refuge 
in the day of their great trouble, a helping hand 
held out to them just then, may keep them from 
destruction. For the lack of such succor in the 
hour when they need it most, many souls are 

The Christian people of every considerable 
community ought, therefore, to see to it that 
such a place of refuge is provided for those who 
will turn from their evil ways and live. The 
disciples of Jesus Christ must not forget the 
attitude of their Master toward persons of this 
class ; they must not fail to remember that it is 
the lost that he came to seek and save. 

You will find, however, my brethren, as you 
study this question, year after year, the oonyic- 
tion deepening in your minds that such checks 
and palliations as we have been considering 
hardly touch the surface of this vast social ulcer. 
What law can do to prevent its shameless effront- 
eries, what philanthropy can do to rescue its 
miserable victims, are but slight mitigations of 
an enormous and growing evil. In some way 
we must find the sources of the evil and apply 
our remedies there. 

What are the sources of this evil? What are 
the social conditions from which it naturally 


flows ? Doubtless many causes conspire to pro- 
duce it, but one, at least, seems to me of grave 
importance. I refer to the growing unwilling- 
ness on the part of young men to assume the 
responsibility of a family and of young women 
to take the risks and the tasks of maternity. A 
large number of the young people of the more 
cultivated classes seem to shrink more and more 
from family life, or at least to defer, to later 
and later periods, the setting up of the home. 
The standards of social decency and respecta- 
bility are constantly rising; the amount of 
money supposed to be necessary to begin the 
married life increases decade by decade. Young 
men say that they will not marry until they are 
able to support a wife in good style, and as the 
wealth of the land increases and their neighbors 
ll™ M0» »d »o„ l»»m»^, the ph,l "in 
good style " is constantly undergoing changes of 
meaning. Young women become accustomed 
in their parental homes to a certain amount of 
comfort and of leisure, and they do not relish 
the thought of beginning to live more plainly 
and more laboriously in homes of theii: own. 
Thus an increasing number of young men and 
women decline or postpone marriage. It is true 
that the family life does require of both men 
and women the relinquishment of a certain 
amount of liberty, the assumption of new bur- 


dens, the incurring of pain and privation and 
sacrifice. The unwillingness to meet these de- 
mands is the prime cause of the diminution in 
the number of marriages which the census re- 
ports to us. And one of the inevitable conse- 
quences is the increase of social immorality. 
The condition of France, a prosperous and lux- 
urious nation, where the number of marriages 
is lessening and the birth-rate is decreasing, and 
social vice is assuming appalling dimensions, 
points out the path in which the nation must 
travel whose young men and women undervalue 
the family relation. 

I do not believe that there is any remedy for 
this social disease but the restoration of a more 
wholesome sentiment concerning this whole sub- 
ject of family life. The morality of what we 
call our respectable classes needs toning up all 
along this line. Many parents discourage the 
marriage of their sons and daughters under con- 
ditions which would be far more favorable than 
those under which they themselves set oiit in life 
bravely and happily. They are unwilling that 
their children should meet the responsibilities 
which they met and bear the burdens which they 
bore, and in meeting and bearing which they 
won their own manhood and womanhood. Many 
a father refuses his daughter to a young man 
whose circumstances and prosperity are far more 


favorable than were his when he was married; 
many a mother warns her son against aUiance 
with a girl whose heart is as true and brave as 
hers was when she set up her own home. The 
father and mother, in their prosperity, have lost 
their sense of the value of character; they have 
come to put far too much emphasis on the mere 
accidents of life. For it is true not only of a 
man's life, but of the life of a man and woman 
together, that ^^ it consisteth not in the abun- 
dance of the things that " they possess. They 
can be happy and true and* brave with but few 
things. To begin together as their parents 
began, to live simply and frugally, to face the 
problems of life without flinching, to exercise 
their wits together over a limited menage^ what 
is this but the discipline in which all the best 
qualities of life are won? 

The habitual thought of the entire commu- 
nity upon this subject is largely perverted by 
the practical materialism which prevails. The 
sacred function of the family is dishonored when 
it is made subordinate to the demands of style 
and the claims of luxury and of leisure. It is 
a good for which right-minded human beings 
should be willing to pay in toil and sacrifice. 
No great good is obtainable at a lower price; 
and the refusal to accept marriage and parent- 
age on these terms is a cowardly infidelity to 


the highest claims, which nature is sure to pun- 

I have no doubt, for my part, that this is one 
of the underlying causes of the prevalence of the 
social evil whose ravages in society we are now 
considering. Other conspiring causes may be 
found in the unsettled economic conditions, and 
in the transition from old to new philosophies 
of life, but the deeper reason is the growing 
love of ease and luxury, the growing subser- 
viency to the demands of style and fashion, the 
growing disposition among our prosperous 
classes to exalt the accidents of life above its 
essential values. It is a subtle form of sin, but 
it is visited with a terrible penalty. The plague 
which breaks out in the purlieus is due to the 
atmospheric poisou which is engendered on tiie 
avenues. The only effectual cure for this social 
ulcer is the tonic which shall invigorate the 
moral sense of the influential classes and teach 
us all that a man is more precious than fine 
gold, and that a home is not the product of the 

The relation of the pulpit to this question wiU 
therefore be less obvious and immediate than to 
some of the other questions with which you are 
dealing. It will not be wise to preach about 
the effects, so much as about the causes. The 
artificial and luxurious life of our modem society 


is the heart of the trouble; the overvaluation 
of style and fashion; the undervaluation of the 
happiness that consists with plain and simple 
living; the theory that the only life that is life 
indeed is one that consists of an abundance of 
things. Whatever you can say to make young 
men and women see the beauty and nobility of 
simpler manners and quieter pleasures, the su- 
periority of a genuine friendship to the advan- 
tages of fashionable society, the truth that the 
completion of life for the man or the woman 
lies in the love which divides our sorrows and 
doubles our joys, will help in the most effectual 
way to dry up the poisoned springs from which 
this stream of pollution issues. 

In President Koosevelt's lecture on "The 
Strenuous Life " are the kind of counsels on 
this subject with which you will do well to fill 
your own souls and the souls of all committed 
to your charge. 

"In the last analysis a healthy state can ex- 
ist only when the men and women who make it 
up lead clean, vigorous, healthy lives; when 
their children are so trained that they shall en- 
deavor not to shirk difficulties, but to overcome 
them; not to seek ease, but to know how to sweat 
triumph from toil and risk. The man must be 
free to do a man's work, to dare and endure and 
to labor to keep himself and to keep those de- 



pendent on him. The woman must be the house- 
wife, the helpmeet of the home-maker, the wise 
and fearless mother of many healthy children. 
In one of Daudet's powerful and melancholy 
books he speaks of ' the fear of maternity, the 
haunting terror of the young wife of the present 
day.' When such words can be written of a 
nation, that nation is rotten to the heart's core. 
When men fear work or fear righteous war, 
when women fear motherhood, they tremble on 
the brink of doom, and well is it that they should 
perish from the earth where they are fit subjects 
for the scorn of all men and women who are 
themselves strong and brave and high-minded." ^ 

The prevalence among our more prosperous 
classes of such sentiments as these would have 
many blessed consequences; among them would 
be a great abatement of that social curse whose 
devastations we are now considering. 

II. Among the social evils which have greatly 
diminished during the nineteenth century are 
the evils of gaming. Relatively to the popula- 
tion and the wealth of the country, there is much 
less gambling now than when General Washing- 
ton was President. At that time it was hardly 
discreditable to win money by gambling or bet- 
ting. General Washington freely records in 
his diary sums of money won or lost by him in 

1 The Strenuous it/c, pp. 3, 4. 


betting upon horse-races. The same is true of 
Thomas Jefferson. It would be easy to produce 
such evidence from the cash-books of the major- 
ity of the public men of that time. Wash- 
ington's notions of propriety, as every one 
knows, were very strict; he kept himself from 
everything that would cause scandal, yet he saw 
nothing questionable in betting on a horse-race. 
The sentiment in England with regard to this 
particular vice is much less rigid at the present 
time than in this country; Lord Rosebery in- 
dulges in this form of gambling, as do many 
others of his class; nevertheless, Lord Rosebery 
suffers some loss of respect on account of this 
indulgence, and one of our own public men, in 
a similar position, would hardly risk the injury 
to his reputation which would be inevitable if he 
were suspected of any such practice. In Lord 
Rosebery 's country, a little more than one hun- 
dred years ago, in the days of the Georges, men 
like Chatham, Fox, Bolingbroke, and Wilber- 
force were in the habit of gambling heavily, 
and some of the most popular clergymen of that 
period were known to be addicted to the same 
vice. Even in England the public sentiment has 
greatly changed for the better, and in our own 
country it has found clear expression upto the 
statute-books of most of our states in the pro- 
hibition, under heavy penalties, of all forms of 


gambling. Even the great lotteries, which lin- 
gered latest, and which were resorted to not 
very long ago for the raising of funds to build 
colleges and educate ministers of the gospel, 
have finally been swept away. 

Over against these gains of morality certain 
losses must, however, be reckoned. The most 
prevalent form of gambling in these days is 
one unknown to our great-grandfathers. That 
is the gambling of our stock and grain and pro- 
duce exchanges, — the gambling which consti- 
tutes so large a part of what we call trade. The 
difference in principle between buying and sell- 
ing on margins and betting on a horse-race or 
a ship's progress has always been a difficult one 
for me to make out. I am familiar with the 
arguments which show how this betting acts as 
a regulator of the market, and how a legitimate 
trader may avail himself of it to protect himself 
against fluctuations which may occur betwixt 
the purchase and the delivery of goods. Doubt- 
less certain benefits may result from it; there 
are few great evils which do not bring in their 
train some incidental gains ; nevertheless, it ap- 
pears to me that the net result of this system 
of commercial gambling is an ethical injury of 
no small dimensions. If I could be convinced 
that it is an essential part of the present system 
of exchange, I should be sure that the present 


system of exchange is radically unsound and 
must give place to something less hurtful to 
character. I am not, however, convinced that 
it is essential to the life of commerce as at pre- 
sent organized ; I believe that some other method 
could be found of securing those ends of regula- 
tion and of insurance which stock and produce 
gambling are now supposed to serve. 

You will find yourselves confronted in your 
ministry by this stupendous system of stock and 
produce trading, the nature and tendencies of 
which you will need to study thoroughly. It is 
a somewhat complicated question ; I advise you 
not to be in too great haste to discuss it; make 
sure of your ground. 

You are very likely to be brought into close 
contact with some of these transactions, and you 
will need to have clear ideas respecting the 
ethical principles involved. 

In what we call trade there are at least three 
kinds of operations which need to be distin- 

The first is legitimate trade, which consists in 
supplying to the consumer such goods as he 
needs, and in charging him a reasonable sum, 
in the way of profit, for the service rendered. 
The merchant who brings from producers, far 
and near, such things as I need, keeps them 
subject to my demand, and delivers them to 


me when I call, is performing for me a most 
valuable service, and is as much entitled to a 
reasonable profit on the transaction as the gar- 
dener who plants my ground is to receive wages 
for his work. The trader who took advantage 
of my necessities and made me pay an exorbi- 
tant price for goods that were indispensable to 
me would be an extortioner and a robber; but 
when the disposition exists to deal fairly and to 
charge no more than a reasonable profit, the 
business of trade is not only legitimate. but bene- 
ficent. There is no reason in the nature of 
things why the trader engaged in a purely com- 
mercial business should not adopt the Christian 
law of exchange, which is simply, " Give as much 
as you can," — as much as you can consistently 
with the maintenance of the business and the 
securing for yourself of a reasonable livelihood. 
The second of the operations included under 
the name of trade is what is known as specu- 
lation. This involves buying commodities or 
properties and holding them for a rise; buying 
when the market is depressed and waiting for it 
to recover. The gain of the speculator is made 
out of the fluctuations of the market. The more 
sudden and sharp are these fluctuations, the 
larger are his chances. To all legitimate busi- 
ness these fluctuations are highly injurious. 
The speculator, qua speculator, makes his gains. 


therefore, out of the misfortunes of his fellows. 
He does, however, render some service both to 
those of whom he buys and to those to whom he 
sells. His function is not purely that of the 
spoiler. But he gives less to the seller than the 
seller in normal times would rightly receive; 
and he gets more from the buyer than the buyer 
in normal conditions would be obliged to pay. 
It is difficult, then, to see how the speculator 
could adopt the Christian maxim, ^^Give as 
much as you can.^' The principle of his action 
requires him to give as little as he can for what 
he gets in every transaction. That is probably 
the principle on which most business is done, 
and it cannot be stigmatized as dishonest or 
wrong, when judged by the c<jmmonly received 
basis of commercial morality. 

It must also be said that the speculative ele- 
ment enters more or less into nearly all legiti- 
mate trade. Most of those who buy goods or 
property of any kind hope that the price will 
rise before they are compelled to sell. 

We are not, therefore, called upon to con- 
demn speculation as essentially immoral ; but it 
is plain that the principles on which it rests and 
the motives to which it appeals are distinctly 
lower than those which are involved in legiti- 
mate trade. Trade might be conducted bene- 
volently, with the purpose of service as the 


paramount motive ; speculation is guided by a 
purely egoistic aim. 

The third operation which is included under 
the name of trade is gambling. That is an 
operation in which no goods are exchanged and 
no services rendered; it consists of a transfer 
of value from one person to another with no 
pretense of rendering an equivalent. It is a 
method of getting something for nothing by 
an appeal to luck or chance. Legitimate com- 
merce consists in a fair exchange of values. If 
I buy goods of a merchant, there is an exchange 
of money for merchandise ; the merchandise is 
worth more to me than the money, and the money 
is worth more to the merchant than the merchan- 
dise ; both parties to the transaction are gain- 
ers. K I employ a physician to attend me in 
illness, or a musLteacher to give my children 
lessons, or a laborer to clean my carpet, there is 
also an exchange of values ; I give my money 
for the services of the physician or the music- 
teacher or the laborer, because they are worth to 
me more than the money. But when one man bets 
another that a certain card has such a face, or 
that a certain horse will trot a mile sooner than 
another, or that wheat will bring so much in 
thirty days, and wins his money, what exchange 
takes place? The winner has got his money 
and given nothing for it; the loser has parted 


with his money and got nothing at all for it. 
The study and the purpose of the gambler, the 
gamhler^s business^ is to get money or other 
property belonging to others and to give in ex- 
change for it absolutely nothing. Whatever 
any one wins in gambling some one else loses; 
by as much as he is enriched some one else is 
impoverished; for all that he has got he has 
given no equivalent; other people have parted 
with what he has gained and he has given them 
for it no merchandise, no service, no pleasure, 
no accommodation, nothing whatever. 

Kant's rule applied to this transaction reveals 
its nature: "Act upon principles of universal 
application." If all men acted on the gambler's 
principle, what would become of society? The 
principle is distinctly and exactly anti-social; 
the gambler's relation to economic society is 
essentially the same as that of the thief. There 
could be no economic society if all men followed 
his rule. 

This is the ethical principle which underlies 
the laws making gambling a crime. It is a per- 
fectly sound principle. I do not think that it 
is generally understood. I have asked many 
persons to tell me what is the essential evil of 
gambling, and have very seldom received the 
true answer. The evil is generally supposed to 
consist in the injurious effects upon the gam- 


bier's character, — in making him restless and 
feverish and indisposed to honest industry. 
But that is an inadequate diagnosis. The truth 
is that the gambler is essentially a thief; he 
gets his neighbor's property away from him 
without giving him any equivalent for it. You 
will need, then, to get a firm grip upon these 
principles, and to enforce them in your teach- 
ing, no matter whom they hit. Few questions 
of ethics are more important just now, or call 
more loudly for clear and trenchant treatment. 
The invasion of trade by the gambler's prac- 
tices needs to be met with a distinct prophetic 
testimony against the essential nefariousness of 
the business in all its shapes and disguises. 

I am told by those who ought to know that 
polite society is suffering the same invasion. 
Various games of hazard, in which money in con- 
siderable amounts is lost and won, are said to 
be in vogue in circles which not long ago were 
considered respectable. A young girl from 
my own city recently visited New York, and 
found herself in an elegant home, where a card- 
party with this spice for its diversion was to 
assemble in the evening. The girl had scru- 
ples against gambling and begged to be excused, 
but her hostess insisted that she must play, 
making her feel that she would violate the obli- 
gations of hospitality if she refused. With a 


great reluctance she yielded, and lost during the 
evening considerable money. The hostess of- 
fered, the next morning, to make good her loss, 
but the girl had spirit enough to refuse that 
reparation; since the greater wrong she had 
suffered could not be undone, she would not 
permit the lesser to be repaired. The essential 
vulgarity and brutality of a society in which a 
thing like that can happen does not need to be 
pointed out. 

The state of mind which can find amuse- 
ment in winning another person's money is one 
into which I find it impossible to enter. I 
have watched travelers, in the sleeping-cars 
and on the steamships, playing by the hour, for 
larger or smaller stakes, and apparently find- 
ing in the game, because of its winnings, a zest 
which without them would have been wanting. 
It was pleasure to get another man's money 
away from him and give him nothing in exchange 
for it ! That spectacle always fills me with 
amazement. There is something so essentially 
sordid about it, that it seems to me beneath 
contempt. I marvel that any gentleman or lady 
can find diversion in playing for money. 
What! have we sunk, in our miserable money- 
grubbing, to such a depth as this, that we are 
forced to turn even our pastimes into schemes 
for gain ? 


If you are to be true teachers and prophets 
of righteousness, you will have to bear some 
clear and pointed testimony against this insidi- 
ous and deadly iniquity. There is no doubt that 
in the sudden ascent to affluence of a multi- 
tude with minds untrained and characters un- 
spiritualized, these low-lived pleasures are easily 
propagated. The new-rich are apt to cultivate 
questionable amusements. Against all these 
tendencies the voice of the Christian minister 
must be lifted up. You cannot let such vices 
alone. They will infest your own congregation ; 
they will assail and corrupt the characters of 
your young men and women. You must do 
what you can to create a public sentiment which 
shall make them disreputable. 

In many of the larger cities gambling is a 
business, carried on with more or less publicity, 
in places known to most intelligent citizens. 
Against the keeping of such places there is law 
enough, everywhere; and the law is based, as 
we have seen, on sound ethics. But the admin- 
istration of the law in many places is extremely 
lax; the police authorities corruptly, either for 
money or political support, ignore the violation 
of law and permit this infernal traffic to go on. 
Gambling places in many of our cities are as 
public as the drug-stores; even the games and 
winnings are sometimes reported in the news- 


papers. Such a defiance of law ought not to 
be tolerated, and the Christian pulpit is respon- 
sible for arousing the moral sense of the com- 
munity to demand the enforcement of the law. 
There is no such difficulty here as in the case 
of the liquor laws. The vast majority of re- 
putable citizens are opposed to gambling in all 
its forms ; all intelligent business men are, well 
aware of the perils to which it exposes them, in 
undermining the characters of trusted employ- 
ees ; the only reason for the failure to enforce 
the laws against gambling places is found in 
the corruption or the inefficiency of the police 
authorities. An awakened public sentiment 
would compel these derelict officials to do their 
duty, or would replace them with others of a 
different character. But the public opinion 
which demands this reform must at the same 
time and with equal positiveness denounce and 
put to shame the sugar-coated gambling that 
is going on in the drawing-rooms of the "four 

Deeper than all this your ploughshare must 
go, — down to the subsoil of this vice, the dis- 
position and determination, in all our commerce 
with the world, to get something for nothing. 
That is the soil in which the gambling habit 
grows. A great many of the rest of us are one 
with the gambler in his central purpose. We 


are glad, whenever we can, to get something for 
nothing; to win gain or credit or power for 
which we have not given and. do not mean to 
give any fair equivalent. We are all too eager 
to get rich by short cuts; to receive marks which 
do not represent achievements; to win success 
by some lucky throw ; we are not so willing as 
we ought to be to pay full price of labor and 
patience and prudence and frugality and fidelity 
for the successes that we crave. The roots of 
all injustice, of all dishonesty, of all heartless- 
ness and cruelty, are in this disposition, and find 
in it their proper nourishment. The only radi- 
cal cure for the social distemper of gambling is 
in the change of mind which brings the grace of 
contentment, the equable temper which can thrive 
in narrow fortunes, and not less the equitable 
and honorable spirit which scorns to take away 
any man's possessions without rendering him a 
fair equivalent. 

III. Respecting the third and last of the social 
evils which we have undertaken to group in this 
discussion, there is so much to say that I am 
tempted to say nothing. The treatment which 
I shall give it must needs be fragmentary and 
inadequate. The subject, however, is one which 
has been so thoroughly discussed for so many 
years, that you are pretty familiar with all 
phases of it, and there is need of scarcely any- 


thing more than a few practical suggestions as 
to the best methods of dealing with it. 

1. At the outset, let me admonish you that this 
is a subject in the discussion of which you will 
need to cultivate serenity of mind and an unre- 
sentful temper. In religious controversy most 
of us have learned to be fairly tolerant; we can 
understand that a man may differ with us on a 
theological point without being an enemy of the 
truth. This spirit does not always prevail 
among the earnest friends of temperance. There 
are many who are apt to regard all who do not 
agree with them as to methods as the paid agents 
of the saloon interest. This uncharitableness 
is to be deplored ; it has weakened the cause of 
temperance. The question is really a difficult 
and complicated one; there is large room for 
honest difference of opinion as to the best 
methods of dealing with it ; and it is desirable 
that many different methods should be fully and 
fairly tried, that we may have better reasons 
than our own subjective impressions for believ- 
ing one method to be superior to another. It is 
therefore important that in all our investigations 
and discussions we all try to keep our tempers, 
and avoid uncharitable judgments. It is hard 
to be tolerant of intolerance ; but this is one of 
the first lessons you will have to learn if you are 
going to discuss with profit the temperance ques-* 


2. Becall what was said at the beginning of 
this lecture; keep the interests of character 
supreme and give due honor to the moral forces. 
Make the drunkard feel that he is responsible 
for his drunkenness, and that if his will is too 
weak to resist temptation, there is omnipotent 
grace on which he may rely, 

3. In dealing with the question of the per- 
sonal conduct of those who are not drunkards, 
make it clear that while abstinence, for love's 
sake, is the highest rule of conduct, it is of no 
value, as an example, unless it is s^lf -imposed. 
To have any effect upon the mind of the drunk- 
ard, it must be purely voluntary, — it must not 
be due to the pressure upon the abstainer of 
public opinion. If the drunkard thinks that I 
am depriving myself of what I might safely and 
innocently use, because I want to encourage him 
to abstain from what he cannot use without 
peril, my example may have some weight with 
him. If he knows that I am abstaining because 
I am afraid of losing credit with the temperance 
people, it will have no weight with him at all. 
The man who says with Paul, "I will eat no 
meat while the world standeth, if it make my 
brother to offend," takes a noble stand. The 
man who says, ^'I am fond of meat and would 
eat it if I dared, but I am afraid that if, I did 
the Anti-Meat Association would make it disa- 


greeable for me," is not likely to exert a very 
wide influence among the meat-eaters. 

4. In dealing with the question of legal regu- 
lation of the liquor traffic, it is best to be undog- 
matic. Many methods have been tried ; none, 
as yet, has demonstrated its superiority. Li- 
cense does not appear to afford the restriction 
needed; state prohibition has been measurably 
successful in the rural districts, but a complete 
failure in the larger cities; the Swedish and 
Kussian system of governmental monopoly of 
the traffic, which has been tried in South Caro- 
lina, can hardly be said to have justified the 
expectations of its friends nor the predictions of 
its enemies ; its efficacy is still in doubt. 

Perhaps we may say that the best results, 
thus far, have been gaine d under some form of 
local option. M y own beliet is tliat tJiisls the 
method which is now mos t promising; andf^iha t 
it ought to be extended not only to townships 
and municipalities, but to wards or othe r subdi- 
visio ns of cities, so that e ach neighborhood may 
determine for itself whether this traffic shall 

' be^ermitted within its boundaries. ^ JLlFsofts 
of theoretical objections may be made to this 
method; undoubtedly it would appear to some 
persons a great anomaly that what was lawful on 
one side of a street should be criminal on the 
other side. But we shall show our wisdom in 


dealing with the temperance question if we 
adopt the good old Anglo-Saxon principle of 
fixing our eyes on practical results and letting 
the anomalies take care of themselves. There 
is a street in a small city through which I often 
pass, the dwellers on one side of which recognize 
and obey a wholly different set of laws from 
those recognized and obeyed by the dwellers on 
the other side; for the line between Ohio and 
Indiana runs through the middle of the street. 
But the people seem to get along very well 
together, and there is neither confusion nor 
anarchy. Disregarding considerations which 
are purely ideal, we may confidently say that 
such an extension of local option would result 
in banishing the open saloon from large sec- 
tions of every great city. If the people of any 
ward or legislative district regard the open 
saloon as an injury to their property and a nui- 
sance in their neighborhood, they ought to have 
the power to rid themselves of it. If those of 
other neighborhoods are differently affected to- 
ward it, their preference ought to be followed. 
Time will perhaps demonstrate whether its pre- 
sence or its absence brings the greater advantage. 
If the traffic in which the saloon is engaged were 
universally regarded as essentially immoral, such 
an arrangement could not be defended; but the 
fact is that large numbers of our people consider 


the traffic to be entirely legitimate and benefi- 
cent, and it is impossible for the people of one 
section to put honest and reputable people of 
another section into the category of criminals 
upon a question of this nature. 

5. To one conclusion I have clearly come, 
namely, that wherever it is decreed that the 
saloon must go, ther e it is the bounden dut y of 
t hose wEo abolish it to see that something bette r 

t akes its place. ]S[ost of those who have been 

talking about the saloon all their lives and say- 
ing many hard things about it have very little 
knowledge of its real character and function. 
But this is a scientific age, and quite a number 
of people have formed the curious habit of try- 
ing to find out what things are before they pro- 
nounce them good or bad. Several of these 
people have been investigating the saloons, — 
spending weeks and months in them, and care- 
fully recording the facts which they have thus 
observed. It must be allowed that these reports 
have modified to some extent the opinion of in- 
telligent men respecting the nature of the sa- 
loon. Speaking for myself, I can say that they 
have not convinced me that the typical saloon 
is, on the whole, a useful institution. I am still 
of the opinion that its influence is, on the whole, 
highly injurious; that it is responsible for an 
enormous waste of money which is needed for 


tlie comfort and the pleasure of the families of 
the men who spend it; that it helps to cultivate 
in great multitudes habits which a^e destructive 
to health and character. I should like to see 
thenumber of drinking saloons greatly lessened, 
and I wish that the moral sense of the people 
would demand that they should be abolished al- 
together. But I must admit that the recent in- 
vestigations have made it plain that the saloon, 
along with its injurious effects, does serve some 
useful purposes. It is probable that with the 
majo rity of those who frequent the saloons, the 
cravin g for drink is a sub ordinate motive. The 
saloon supplies "the demand for s ocial exp res-^ 
si on;'^ that is a large part of its function. "T he 
social stimulus of men," says Mr. Moore of the 
Hull House, who spent several months in the 
saloons of the nineteenth ward of Chicago, "is 
epitomized in the saloon. It is a centre of learn- 
ing, books, papers, and lecture hall to them. It 
is the clearing house for common intelligence, 
the place where their philosophy of life is 
worked out, and their political and social beliefs 
take their beginnings." ^ Professor Walter A. 
Wyckoff, whose opportimities of observation 
have been abundant, says: "My short associa- 
tion with workingmen in this country gave to 
me a very strong impression of the perfect adap- 

^ Economic Aspects of the Liquor Problenij p. 22G. 


tation to their social needs which the saloon as 
an institution supplies. There is no social fact 
apart from the family which seems to me, by 
reason of its strength and efficiency, to bear 
comparison with the saloon in its influence upon 
the lives of workingmen in America." ^ 

In a most instructive volume, entitled "Sub- 
stitutes for the Saloon," Mr. Eaymond H. Calk- 
ins thus moralizes : — 

" An unbiased study of the saloon, as it exists 
in our American cities under many differing 
laws and in its many different forms, compels 
the conclusion that it is acting to-day as a social 
centre, even where this purpose is farthest from 
the mind of its keeper, and where its apparent 
attractiveness is reduced to its lowest terms. , 
Upon closer examination the importance of this 
result only increases, and the real hold of the 
saloon upon the social life of the people becomes 
more and more clear. It is apparent for one 
thing that there are not many centres of recr ea- 
tion and amus ement open at all hours to th e 
working people, none that minister to their 
comfor t in such a varietv of ways. The longer 
one searches for just the right kind of a substi- 
tute for the sa loon, attording its convenien ces 
without its evils^ the more opfi dftspalra of find- 
ing it. And yet such places are a positive neces- 

1 Economic Aspects of the Liquor Problem^ p. 237. 


«ity, for the social instinct which demands and 
finds its satisfaction within the saloon is a real- 
ity." ^ It would be easy to multiply these wit- 
nesses. And their testimony shows that the ex- 
tirpation of the saloons is not a simple problem. 
They ought not to be abolished without making 
some provision for that need to which they so 
efficiently minister. The subject is too large 
to be entered upon here ; but it is now tolerably 
clear that the first step in the temperance re- 
form — the obligation which precedes and out- 
ranks all others — is the invention and supp^ 
of some sort of social substitute for the saloon. ^ 
This IS UdC "^M ti[l»y pi'oblem. It must "not be a 
charity; that would kill it. The workingmen 
who patronize the saloons want no gratuities. 
It must rest on an economic basis. It must be 
a self-supporting institution. In England a 
great number of Coffee Houses and Refresh- 
ment Booms have been established all over the 
kingdom ; they have been economically profitable, 
and they have proved a strong counter-attrac- 
tion to the public house. In America such ex- 
periments have been few and feeble. The time 
has come when the practical American must 
grapple with this difficult problem. And it 
might be wise for our ardent reformers to stop 
denouncing the saloon-keeper long enough to 

^ Substitutes /or the ScUoon, pp. 4, 5. 


get acquainted with him. One of the princi- 
pal things that he is doing is the thing that they 
have got to learn to do. The only way in which 
they can get rid of him is to meet him on his 
own ground and beat him at his own game. 
He has found out how to furnish a social resort 
to which men like to come, in which they feel at 
home, where their social needs are ingeniously 
supplied. Before the saloon-keeper is driven 
out of the business, somebody must show that 
he can do this thing as well as the saloon-keeper 
does it. 

"The saloon, as it appears to me," says Mr. 
Wyckoff , " in relation to the working class 
in America, is an organ of high development, 
adapting itself with singular perfectness to its 
function in catering in a hundred ways to the 
social and political needs of men ; and if it is to 
be combated successfully by an institution, this 
institution must be rooted in natural causes and 
must minister with equal efficiency to real social 

"In view of results for which the saloon is 
largely responsible, in the wreck of individual 
lives, in the known relation which its traffic 
bears to the totality of crime and pauperism and 
insanity, and the unmeasured misery caused by 
the consuming appetite which it breeds, it is 
vital that an opposing institution rooted in the 


necessity of reform and in conscious responsi- 
bility for one's fellow men, and having, too, a 
valid economic basis in yielding profit, should 
be fostered by infinite patience and care, and 
grow in all helpfulness and practical adaptation 
to constructive social good." ^ 

That is the temperance problem of the twen- 
tieth century. I trust that you, my brethren, 
and the people whom you will inspire and lead, 
will have some good part in working it out. 

^ Economic Aspects of the Liquor Problem, pp. 239, 240. 



If you had been called to exercise your min- 
istry in New England two hundred years ago, 
you would have met no question respecting the 
relation of the church or the ministry to public 
education. At that time it was supposed that 
education was fundamentally a religious func- 
tion ; that the school and the church were en- 
gaged in the same enterprise. Perhaps the 
first public action taken in the country provid- 
ing, by direct taxation, for the establishment of 
a school, was that of Dorchester, in Massachu- 
setts, in 1639, and this action was taken ^Mn 
consideration of a relligeous care of posteritie," 
and because the voters knew "how necessary 
the education of theire children will be to fitt 
them for public service both in churche and com- 
monwealth in succeding ages." The religious 
motive was always avowed in connection with 
the establishment of public schools, and provi- 
sion was made for definite religious instruction 
in the Bible and in the catechism. Some of us 


have memories that go back to the time when 
every public school was still, in some sense, a 
seminary of the Christian religion; when the 
New Testament was regularly read, every morn- 
ing, verse about, by all the pupils who could 
read, and prayer was offered by the teacher. 
From most of our public schools, if not from 
all of them, these devout forms have now wholly 
disappeared, and there is no semblance of reli- 
gious observance. I do not care to go into the 
causes of this ; perhaps, under existing circum- 
stances, it was inevitable. The perpetuation of 
mere forms of worship, which do not represent 
any worshipful feeling, is not a thing to be 
striven for. The Bible in the schools in the 
hands of men and women who love the Bible 
and desire to convey the spirit of its teachings 
to the hearts of its pupils would be a blessing 
indeed ; but the Bible in the hands of those who 
do not believe in it nor obey it would work more 
injury than benefit to religion. 

Upon one thing we may, I Aink, reasonably 
insist, not wholly in the interest of religion, but 
quite as much in the interest of general intelli- 
gence. Whatever the moral and spiritual value 
of the Bible may be, there can be no question 
that it occupies a place in our literature which 
makes a fair knowledge of it essential to every 
educated man, no matter what his faith may be. 


The Bible Is woven through all our literature; 
names, words, phrases borrowed from it, allu- 
sions to it are found on almost every page; 
without a good knowledge of it much of what 
he reads will be unintelligible to the reader; 
familiarity with the Bible lights up with beau- 
tiful significance many a passage which would 
otherwise be enigmatical. Of course the wider 
is one's knowledge of books in general, the 
greater is his pleasure and profit in reading, for 
other books are quoted and alluded to, but there 
is no book in our language which has been used 
in this way one hundredth part as much as has 
the Bible; and for the purposes of general in- 
telligence it is therefore one hundred times as 
necessary that one should know the Bible as 
that he should know any other book. This is 
the fact upon which educators ought to insist. 
I think that they are beginning to make their 
voices heard. The most indignant protests which 
I have heard concerning the amazing popular 
ignorance of the Bible have come from profes- 
sors in colleges, whose reports concerning the 
lack of Biblical knowledge in the pupils that 
come to them, even from Christian homes and 
Sunday-schools, are almost incredible. We 
have now upon the stage a generation which has 
grown up without any instruction in the Bible 
in the public schools, and the depth and breadth 


of popular ignorance respecting the Bible is 
something astonishing. 

If we compare ourselves with other peoples in 
this respect, we shall find small reason for self- 
complacency. Pupils educated in German and 
Scandinavian schools are apt to know something 
of the Bible, and in England it would appear 
that an overwhelming majority of the people 
desire to have the Bible taught in the public 
schools. It seems to be assumed that this is a 
book concerning which children need to know 
something, since it is the one book which has had 
more to do than all other books put together 
with the intellectual and civil life of the whole 
Western world. 

Matthew Arnold was considered by many to 
be a great heretic; certainly he was far from 
being a bigoted votary of the Christian religion. 
For a long time he was a school inspector, and 
had large opportunities of studying the pupils of 
the public schools and their needs, and' he was 
an enthusiastic advocate of the study of the Bible 
in the public schools. It was from the point of 
view of a lover of literature and culture that he 
reached this conclusion ; he always insisted that 
familiarity with the best literature was the best 
education; that there was no better way of 
broadening the mind and cultivating the higher 
judgment than by getting acquainted with the 


best that has been thought and said by the great 
men of the world. And therefore he wanted 
the Bible studied in the public schools. "Only 
one literature there is," he said, — "one great 
literature, for which the people have had a pre- 
paration, — the literature of the Bible. How- 
ever far they may be from having a complete 
preparation for it, they have some; and it is 
the only great literature for which they have 
any. If poetry, philosophy, and eloquence — 
if what we call in one word letters — are a 
power and a beneficent, wonder-working power 
in education, through the Bible only have the 
people much chance of getting at poetry, phi- 
losophy, and eloquence. Chords of power are 
touched in this way which no other part of the 
instruction in a public school reaches, and 
chords various, not the simple religious chord 
only." And in his report to the Education De- 
partment he submits these suggestions to school 
boards: "Let them make the main outlines of 
Bible history, and the getting by heart a selec- 
tion of the finest psalms, the most interesting 
passages from the historical and prophetical 
books of the Old Testament and the chief para- 
bles, discourses, and exhortations of the New, a 
part of the regular school work." This counsel 
has been practically followed by most of the 
school boards in England. In 1895 there were 


in England and Wales 2392 school boards, of 
which there were but 91, and these m very 
small places, which provided no religious teach- 
ing; in the schools of the other 2300 with their 
two millions of pupils, the Bible is read daily, 
and some such careful provision as has been 
described is made for the instruction of the chil- 
dren in this great literature. 

It appears to me that something of this nature 
may yet be hoped for in connection with our 
public education, and that the subject is one 
which the Christian ministry ought to keep in 
sight. Whatever is done must be done with 
great prudence, and it must be evident that the 
interests in view are not those of dogmatism, 
but rather of general intelligence. We study 
Homer, the Bible of the old pagan Greeks, in 
our schools, with no objection ; doubtless if any 
one wanted to study the Zendavesta, the religious 
book of the old Persians, or the Niebelungen- 
lied, the religious book of the Scandinavians, 
that would be thought innocent, if not laudable; 
but the proposition to study our own Bible, 
which, from every point of view, as literature, 
as history, as philosophy, as moral teaching, 
is infinitely more important than any or aU of 
these, seems to fill the minds of some people 
with vague alarms. There seems to be no rea- 
son in this, and I hope that by and by we shall 


get ashamed of it, and bring the Bible back into 
our schools. To make it the basis of doctrinal 
teaching would be, of course, impossible; but 
we might have the occasional reverent reading 
of it, and we might, at least, teach the pupils to 
discern the beauty of its poetry and the glory 
of its eloquence and the uplifting power of its 
prophetic ideals. 

The family is the social unit, and all the 
forces which are employed in social construction 
have their norms in the life of the family. One 
great part of the business of the home is to fit 
its inmates to bear their part in society, — in 
the life of the commonwealth. Civilized men 
live in communities, and the art of living in- 
cludes the art of living together. The primary 
school in which this art is learned and practiced 
is the family. No higher function belongs to 
the family than that of equipping those who are 
under its discipline with such an outfit of prin- 
ciples, sentiments, and habits of thought and 
action as shall enable them to fulfill their duties 
to the community. This involves the ability to 
take care of themselves, so that they shall not 
be a burden on the community. Industrial 
training, intellectual training, moral training, 
— all these the children ought to receive in the 
household. The parents have brought these 
children into the world, and they are bound to 


see that the children are fitted to live in the 
world productively, worthily, and happily. Re- 
sponsibility for the education of the children 
rests primarily upon the parents, and can never 
be shifted without social injury. 

We find, however, that the actual work of 
education is now largely done outside the fam- 
ily. The function of education has been spe- 
cialized; the school has assumed a large share 
of the work for which the parents are primarily 
responsible. This has come about for two rea- 

In the first place, a large number of the par- 
ents Kving in our modem society are incapable 
of educating their children ; for this reason so- 
ciety furnishes the school and makes attendance 
upon it compulsory. This action is often ex- 
plained as part of its function of protection. 
Society is said to be insuring itself against the 
dangers of ignorance. There are economic rea- 
sons also; trained intellects and skilled workers 
increase the national wealth. And there may 
surely be ethical reasons, for the training ought 
to result in better lives and in a more orderly 
and more peaceful community. Thus society 
takes the children whose parents are incapable 
of fulfilling the parental function, and gives 
them that equipment for good living which they 
could not hope to receive in their homes. The 


school is then, in part, intended to supply de- 
fects of parental training. 

But it is more than this. If there were no 
ignorant or degraded households, if aU parents 
were intelligent and conscientious, there would 
still be need of the school, as a specialized edu- 
cational function, in which the children should 
receive instruction from men and women who, 
because they devote their lives to the work of 
teaching, are better teachers than most parents 
could hope to be. Division of labor is useful 
here as well as in many other departments of 
life. It is impossible for most parents to have 
the technical knowledge necessary to teach their 
children all the different kinds of knowledge 
which they wish them to acquire. Nor have 
they always the time necessary to oversee their 
children's studies. While therefore the parents 
are primarily responsible for the education of 
their children, and are bound to see that it is 
directed to the right ends and conducted in the 
best manner, they are justified in accepting the 
assistance which the school affords in securing 
this result. Most of them, indeed, would be 
highly culpable if they failed to avail themselves 
of this important agency for the accomplishment 
of a purpose which must lie very near their 
hearts. It is the parent's duty to supply his 
child with clothing; but it is not any longer 


his duty to have the clothing spun and woven 
in his own house; there is a better way of ob- 
taining it. It is his duty to do what he can to 
preserve the child's health; but it may not al- 
ways be his duty to administer remedies in sick- 
ness; it may be wise for him sometimes to call 
the doctor. Similarly, it is his duty to attend 
to the education of his child, and if he is as 
intelligent as he ought to be, he can do a great 
deal of that work himself; he ought to be in- 
telligent enough to know whether it is well 
done; yet it will probably be his duty to send 
the child to school. 

Nevertheless, it must be clearly understood 
that this is, fundamentally, a parental function ; 
that the school comes in to supplement the 
home; that its ruling aims must be determined 
by what is divinest and best in the life of the 
home; that it must try to do for the children 
what the wisest and best fathers and mothers 
desire to do. On the one hand, the parent must 
see to it that the school is organized and con- 
ducted in such a way that it shall carry into 
effect his highest purposes for his children. 
He has no right to surrender his children to an 
agency which is not capable of doing for his 
children what he wants done for them. It is 
too true, as a writer in a recent magazine has 
said, that many a father ^' comes to think that 


his son's education, like a suit of clothes, once 
put into the hands of an artisan of good repute, 
ceases to be a matter for which he is responsi- 
ble. A father may not, by gift of staff and 
scrip, by cries of ' Good luck ' and ' God speed,' 
break the great seal of the paternal bond. A 
father cannot release himself by putting another 
in his place. A man shall answer for every 
act and every omission of the factor to whom he 
has intrusted his own son. If a son do wrong, 
if he surrender to low things, if he come to 
misery, then must the father be condemned."^ 
This on the one hand, from the point of view 
of the home. 

On the other hand, the school must be quick 
to seize this point of view and be directed by it. 
Not what the actual home or the average home 
requires of it, but what the ideal home would 
demand of it, this must be the aim of the school. 
It must seek to do for the children what the 
fathers and mothers whose instincts are surest, 
whose standards are highest, wish to have done. 
It must try to give to the children who come 
from the worst homes, and from indifferent 
homes, the kind of training desired in the best 

Nothing short of this could be considered 
adequate in our estimate of what a school ought 

^ The Atlantic Monthly ^ yoL Ixxxvii. p. 69. 


to be. We all know that most of our schools, 
in their administration, fall far below this mark, 
but none of them can rationally aim at anything 
lower. And it will be seen at once that, with 
this for its ruling purpose, the school must take 
a very high rank among social institutions; that 
it is invested with a sacred character. Great 
responsibilities devolve upon it; exalted service 
is required of it; those who take part in its 
work ought to be large-minded, pure-minded, 
high-minded men and women. Sharp, tricky, 
mercenary, insincere, unscrupulous characters 
are as much out of place in the school-room as 
in the pulpit. We cannot always have ideal 
teachers, any more than ideal preachers; but 
character is quite as essential in the one calling 
as in the other. 

Moreover it is plain that the essential quali- 
fication of the ideal teacher must be a genuine 
affection. The intellectual equipment is a mat- 
ter of course; I need not insist on that; that is 
of the rudiments. The deeper need is the same 
feeling toward these pupils that the best and 
wisest parents have for them ; the discernment 
which only love can give of their needs, their 
deficiencies, their powers, their perils ; a strong 
wish to give them the restraint, the encourage- 
ment, the guidance, the stimulus they need, — 
to enable them to realize themselves. The ideal 


teacher must therefore be a genuine philanthro- 
pist, a lover of his kind, one to whom nothing 
is so interesting as human character. He must 
be full of what we ought to mean when we use 
that hackneyed religious phrase, "love of souls." 
For souls, let us keep saying, are iust human 
beings, n;thing else; and their wonderful en- 
dowments, prerogatives, capabilities, are worthy 
of the enthusiastic devotion of a man or of an 
angel. To discern the possibilities hidden under 
the uncouth exterior, the soul of goodness in 
the turbulent nature; to awaken the dull mind, 
to steady the wayward will, to lift up the true 
ideals before generous spirits, — there can be 
no nobler or more sacred work than this out- 
side of heaven. It is often, no doubt, very dis- 
couraging work, almost heart-breaking work, be- 
cause there is so little response to all these high 
endeavors. Children come to the school from 
homes in which no such thoughts are cherished; 
come with an inheritance of stupidity and in- 
difference to the highest things ; come with their 
minds filled with perverted ideas of life and 
conduct, and it is hard for the most earnest 
teacher to gain any influence over them. As 
Dr. Stanley Hall has told us, we shall never have 
the ideal school until we have the ideal home. 
And when the teacher tries to lift up the stand- 
ard of the ideal home before children who come 


from homes that are far below the ideal, the 
task is often discouraging. But this is the 
nature of the work to be done, and this is the 
spirit in which it ought to be done. The school 
fulfills its true function when it is animated by 
this purpose. The school has inherited the 
highest function of the home, and the law of 
the school must therefore be the law of the 
home, which is the law of love. Underneath . 
all the intellectual qualifications and the peda- f 
gogical preparations must lie the enthusiasm of 
humanity in its highest form, the deep and gen- 
nine desire to help these boys and girls to win 
a worthy and beautiful manhood and woman- 

Let no one imagine that this is any Utopian 
suggestion. No one who knows many teachers 
will entertain such an idea. There are, indeed, 
many persons in the teaching profession who 
come far short of this, but there are not a few 
whose aim is nothing lower than this; whose 
work, as they understand it, is the kind of work 
which I have tried to describe. Teachers of 
this quality were mine — more than one of 
them ; I shall never repay the debt I owe them. 
Such teachers have taught my children; for 
unselfish devotion to their highest interests, for 
cooperation with my own best efforts for them, 
I am deeply indebted to some of the men and 


women under whose influence my children have 
come in the school-room. And I think I am 
not mistaken in my impression that this concep- 
tion of the seriousness and sacredness of the 
teacher's work is becoming more and more pre- 
valent. In recent conventions of teachers which 
I have had the privilege of attending, this note 
has often been struck, and the response to it 
has been surprisingly prompt and emphatic. 

If, then, the ideal school inherits the highest 
function of the home, what must it undertake 
to do for the children intrusted to it? What 
must be its specific aims ? We may sum them 
up in two propositions : — 

1. The school must aid the pupil to realize 
himself, to become what he was meant to be. 

2. The school must teach the pupil how to 
live with others, how to identify his own inter- 
ests with the interests of his fellows. 

These two purposes can never be separated 
in life, for neither can be accomplished without 
the other, but it may be well to consider them 

1. The school must recognize the value of 
the individual, and must seek to develop the 
child along the lines of his highest endowment, 
in such a way that he shall become a complete 
and full-rounded personality. There is danger 
of uniform patterns in education, of trying to 

(( ur;i / - -VY ) 

rmoN 187 

run all minds in one mould. That must be 
avoided. Wise teachers always try to avoid it. 
Every boy must be himself, and every girl her- 
self; the Creator's image and superscription 
stamped on this nature must not be obliterated. 
This is not saying that faults may not be cor- 
rected or weaknesses removed by discipline ; the 
faults and the weaknesses are no part of the 
divine plan for this life. It is what God means 
this pupil to become that we are to fix our 
thoughts upon and help him to attain. The 
point I am insisting on is that the character 
which the school must seek to develop is a whole, 
round, complete character, — a human integer; 
not a social cipher, but a significant figure; a 
person capable of self -direction and self -mainte- 
nance. Of one thing we must make ourselves 
sure, that the individual comes to his own and 
holds his own, in all our social mutations. A 
commonwealth of nobodies must come to no- 
thing, no matter how benevolent its social pro- 
gramme may be. Therefore all our discipline of 
education must brace the pupil to stand on his 
own feet, do his own thinking, conquer his own 
difiiculties, work out his own salvation. The 
love of the teacher for the pupil must not be the 
weak indulgence of the overfond parent, who 
releases the child from responsibility and duty, 
from struggle and effort, but the clear firmness 


of the wise parent who holds the child steadily 
to his work and helps him to win such a mastery 
of his powers as shall make him the lord of 
circumstance and not its slave. 

I am thinking, when I say this, of the school 
as a social institution, and of its great business 
of preparing these boys and girls to take their 
place and do their work in the social order. 
For the secure foundation of democratic society 
must be men and women who are not fractions 
but integers; who can think and judge for 
themselves. "Democratic government," says a 
late writer, "is the standing together of a mul- 
titude of men who could each stand alone. Its 
business is to balk the mob of the fraudulent 
gains of a sordid good fellowship and to brace 
them to moral independence. As the scheme of 
the creation is the integrating of free souls out 
of the soul of God, and as God thrusts forth his 
child and veils his own face with ever thicker 
veils, waiting with infinite restraint for the man 
to act from within himself in original love, so 
democratic government must reflect the auster- 
ity of God; must break up the solidarity of 
passion and pelf to the ends of unanimity, — 
the voluntary cooperation of free persons."^ 
To develop this free personality in the pupil is 
the first great business of the school. 

1 The Edigion of Democracy j p. 103. 


2. But the other purpose of teaching the 
pupil to live with others, — of inspiring him 
with social sentiments and social aims — is in- 
separably connected with this. The school 
must teach the pupil to love himself enough to 
realize himself, to become what God meant him 
to be, and it must also teach him to love his 
neighbor as himself. With all his gettings, the 
pupil ought to get from the school the under- 
standing of this great truth that we are mem- 
bers one of another, and must be helpers one of 
another; that we must not look upon our own 
things exclusively, but also on the things of 
others ; that duties are more fundamental than 
rights in the perfect social order. The whole 
life of the school ought to express this genuine 
fraternity. It is one great task of the family 
to socialize its members, to fill them with the 
sentiments and driU them in the habits which 
shall fit them to take their place in a Christian- 
ized society. The school, as the inheritor of the 
work of the home, has the same work to do. 

In speaking not long ago of the motives ap- 
pealed to in the school-room, I said that the 
competitive spirit was largely relied upon to 
secure good work. A teacher, whose knowledge 
of present methods is better than mine, thought 
my statement too strong, and expressed the 
opinion that such motives are not now greatly 


relied on, and that such appeals have been to a 
great extent abandoned. I have no doubt this 
is true, in many of the best schools. But the 
conditions to which I referred must still exist, 
to a considerable extent, for I find John Dewey, 
professor of Pedagogy in the University of 
Chicago, saying this in a recent publication : — 

"In the school-room the motive and the ce- 
ment of social organization are alike wanting. 
Upon the ethical side the tragic weakness of 
the present school is that it endeavors to prepare 
future members of the social order in a medium 
in which the conditions of the social spirit are 
eminently wanting. . . . The mere absorption 
of facts and truths is so exclusively individual 
an affair that it tends very naturally to pass into 
selfishness. There is no obvious social motive 
for the acquirement of mere learning, there is 
no clear social gain in success thereat. Indeed, 
almost the only measure of success is a competi- 
tive one, in the bad sense of that term — a com- 
parison of results in the recitation or in the ex- 
amination, to see which child has succeeded in 
getting ahead of others in storing up, in accu- 
mulating the maximum of information."^ 

Just how this can be avoided I do not know, 
nor am I sure that it is altogether evil; but 
there is plainly a tendency here which needs to 

1 ITie School and Society , pp. 28, 29. 


be well watched, and a great need of finding 
some adequate means of awaking and cultivat- 
ing that feeling of identity of interest, that 
social sympathy, which is the only bond of peace- 
ful and stable society. Professor Dewey thinks 
that he finds such a corrective to the egoistic 
tendencies of school life in the industrial train- 
ing which is finding place in some of our school 
systems. Doubtless most of us have considered 
that to be mainly intended to fit the pupil to 
take care of himself, and it certainly has a val- 
uable work to do in that direction, but Profes- 
sor Dewey's observation points out its socializ- 
ing tendency : — 

"The difference," he says, "that appears 
when occupations are made the articulating 
centres of school life is not easy to describe in 
words; it is a difference in motive, of spirit, 
and atmosphere. As one enters a workshop in 
which a group of children are actively engaged 
in the preparation of food, the psychological 
difference, the change from more or less passive 
and inert recipiency and restraint to one of 
buoyant, outgoing energy is so obvious as fairly 
to strike one in the face. Indeed, to those 
whose image of the school is rigidly set, the 
change is sure to give a shock. But the change 
in the social attitude is equally marked. . . . 
When the school work consists in simply learn- 


ing lessons, mutual assistance, instead of being 
the most natural form of cooperation and asso- 
ciation, becomes a clandestine effort to relieve 
one's neighbor of his proper duties. When ac- 
tive work is going on, all this is changed. Help- 
ing others, instead of being a form of charity 
which impoverishes the recipient, is simply an 
aid in setting free the powers and furthering 
the impulse of the one helped. A spirit of free 
communication, of interchange of ideas, sugges- 
tions, results, both successes and failures of 
previous experiences, becomes the dominating 
note of the recitation. So far as emulation en- 
ters in, it is in the comparison of individuals, 
not with regard to the quantity of information 
personally absorbed, but with regard to the 
quality of the work done — the genuine commu- 
nity standard of value. In an informal but all 
the more pervasive way the school life organizes 
itself on a social basis." ^ 

Whatever may be said of the value of the par- 
ticular method suggested by Professor Dewey, 
the result which he reports is the thing to be 
aimed at. Somehow the school must find a way 
to cultivate the social temper, the habit of co- 
operation, the spirit of service, the conscious- 
ness of fraternity. The fact that we live to- 
gether in the community, not to get out of it all 

1 The School and Society, T^p. 2S-20. 


that we can, but to give all we can of unselfish 
ministry to one another and to the common wel- 
fare, is the truth that should somehow be made 
fundamental in the teaching of the school. 

It must be evident to all who will reflect upon 
it that the school can never fulfill its true func- 
tion until it clearly sets before itself this great 
aim of socializing the pupil. Merely to sharpen 
intellects and discipline powers that may be 
used in pushing and fighting, in grasping and 
holding fast, is not the true work of the school; 
it must make men and women of these boys and 
girls, men and women who can stand alone; but 
they must be men and women who stand to 
serve, not to strive ; to help, not to hurt ; to lift 
up the fallen, and not to trample on the weak. 

It is a great and beautiful service to which 
the school calls men and women. How high 
and sacred it is, many of us do not realize. If 
we did, we should be more careful about the 
choice of those to whom these great interests 
are intrusted, and we should guard with vigi- 
lance the portals of the temples where this 
priesthood of learning performs its ministry, 
lest anything that worketh harm or shame 
should enter therein. And I know not where 
the responsibility for this guardianship rests 
more heavily than on the Christian ministry. 
If the function of the public school is what we 


have seen it to be, then its work is essentially 
the same as that of the church. To build char- 
acter and to strengthen the social bond is its 
high calling, and to work like this the Christian 
minister cannot be indifferent. If there is any 
danger that the school will be turned away from 
this high aim, he is the man above all others 
who ought to be vigilant to avert that danger. 
It is for him, more than any other man in the 
community, to see that the ideals which guide 
in public education be kept high and true. 
The interests for which the public schools, when 
rightly guided, are working, are the interests to 
which he has consecrated his life. The methods 
of the church differ somewhat from the methods 
of the school, and the minister is not called to 
impose his theology or his ecclesiasticism upon 
the school administration; but he ought to be 
broad-minded enough to see that the high pur- 
pose of the school is one to which he can give 
a vigorous support; and that he is bound, as 
a public teacher, to contribute what he can of 
light and leading to this great enterprise. His 
right to take an active interest in public educa- 
tion will be conceded. 

The Christian minister is likely to find the 
public school teachers of his neighborhood peo- 
ple well worth knowing. They are not all per- 
fect, any more than the ministers themselves; 


but there is no class among our citizens whose 
aims, on the whole, are higher, or whose work 
is done in a better spirit. . Many of these teach- 
ers will be members of your churches, and you 
will find them among the most devoted and the 
most useful of your helpers. And you will 
constantly be encouraged to find how steadily 
and patiently many of them are endeavoring, in 
their daily work, to lead the children under 
their care in the ways of life. With the teach- 
ers of his vicinage, the minister ought to be on 
the best of terms. To support their true aims, 
to confirm their highest purposes, to give them 
what cheer and courage and inspiration he can 
in their difficult work, is one of his high privi- 

He will find, also, as he becomes familiar 
with the life of the schools, that there is great 
and constant need of lifting up the thoughts of 
the people concerning the nature of the work 
they have to do. There is a constant tendency 
to lower the standards of public education ; to 
put the emphasis of our demand upon that which 
is lowest in its work instead of that which is 
highest; to value the school as an economic 
rather than a social force. An education, in 
the view of the great majority of parents, is 
simply an equipment for gaining a livelihood. 
That end is not to be despised, but it is not the 


highest, for the life is more than food and the 
body than raiment. The utilitarian side of 
education must be considered, and provided 
for; the movements in the direction of manual 
training are laudable; nevertheless, even in 
these, a true insight chiefly rejoices because of 
the gains which they will bring to character. 
The mechanical and domestic training which 
are thus offered will be mainly useful in help- 
ing our boys and girls to see the dignity of pro- 
ductive labor, and in turning their thoughts 
away from the crowded paths of trade and spec- 

One of the great difficulties with which ear- 
nest teachers have to contend is the coarse and 
low philosophy of life which many of the chil- 
dren bring with them from their homes ; which 
makes them blind to the uses of any study that 
does not seem to contribute directly to some 
form of money-making ; and which leaves wholly 
out of sight the value of the knowledge by 
which their life is broadened, their tastes are 
refined, their ideals exalted, and their power to 
serve their generation increased. One great 
reason why our life is so sordid, — why so many 
men pour out all their energies in money-grub- 
bing, is that our people are so poorly educated 
that they do not know how else to find enjoy- 
ment. The higher pleasures of life have no 
meaning for them. 


Doubtless education is more generally dif- 
fused in America than in any other country; 
but one is rather startled to find how limited 
are the educational attainments of the average 
American. A computation recently made by 
the United States Commissioner of Education 
shows that up to 1900, the average American 
had received 998 days' schooling; which means 
five school years, of forty weeks. "This esti- 
mate includes instruction in the common 
schools, and also in private schools and col- 
leges."^ The computation indicates a wonder- 
ful gain, since it was estimated that up to 1800, 
the total schooling enjoyed by the average 
American had been only 82 days. During the 
century the amount of education imparted to 
each citizen had been multiplied twelve-fold. 
But five years of schooling is not enough to 
give a human being an adequate equipment for 
the life of this time. It is somewhat disquiet- 
ing to know that the education of the aver- 
age man and woman stops with the fifth grade 
of the primary school. One reason of this is 
the wholly inadequate idea, in the minds of the 
parents, of what education is for; the notion 
that its significance is summed up in breadwin- 
nin^; the failure to see that to live is something 

1 Rq>ort of Commissioner of Education, 1899-1900, yol. L 
p. xvi 


more than to get a living. To a popular jour- 
nal asking the question, " Does a college educa- 
tion pay?" President Hyde gave this answer: 
''To be at home in all lands and all ages; to 
count nature a familiar acquaintance, and art 
an intimate friend ; to gain a standard for the 
appreciation of other men's work and the criti- 
cism of one's own; to carry the keys of the 
world's library in one's pocket, and feel its re- 
sources behind one in whatever task he under- 
takes; to make hosts of friends among the men 
of one's own age who are to be the leaders in 
all walks of life; to lose one's self in generous 
enthusiasm and cooperate with others for com- 
mon ends; to learn manners from students who 
are gentlemen and form character from profes- 
sors who are Christians — these are the returns 
of a college for the best four years of one's 
life."^ One can imagine Mr. Gradgrind rub- 
bing his eyes over that reply. The meaning of 
it would be far from him. Yet this is the real 
value of a college education, and all education 
is precious in proportion as it leads the pupil 
along this road, and opens his mind and his 
heart to the real significance of the life he is 
living, to the beauty and wonder of the world 
about him. The chief end of education is to 
put the man into harmony with his environ- 

1 The Forum, yol. zzzii. pp. 561, 562. 


ment, not merely industrial, but natural and 
social and spiritual; to open the windows of 
his soul that the light of the universe may shine 
in; to fit him to stand in his lot, and receive 
his portion, and do his work as one of the sons 
of God. If the boys and girls of your congre- 
gation, and their fathers and mothers too, do 
not get from you some inkling of these higher 
meanings of education, your work as ministers 
will be very imperfectly done. 

The weakness of our public school system at 
the present time is found in the character of the 
governing boards, by which the schools are con- 
trolled. This is not the universal fact. In 
many of the smaller towns and cities the tradi- 
tions of the earlier periods are in force, and 
men are selected to govern the schools who have 
some fitness both in knowledge and in character 
for their high trust. In a few of our larger 
cities, also, serious attempts have been made to 
put the management into capable hands. But 
it is true of a great many communities that the 
men chosen by the people for this most difficult 
service are, for the most part, men who are ut- 
terly destitute of the intelligence and the expe- 
rience which the service requires. The schools 
have been dragged into party poUtics, and the 
ward bosses dictate the nomination of members 
of the school board. Small politicians in each 


locality seek the nomination for purposes of 
their own. There is a little patronage to dis- 
pense; janitors and other officers are to be ap- 
pointed; the politician hopes, by the control of 
this patronage, to construct for himself a small 
machine which will be useful in pushing him 
for some more lucrative position. There are 
also contracts to let and considerable sums of 
money to spend; there are school-book publish- 
ing companies to deal with whose methods are 
notorious; and the less scrupulous hope to get 
something for their votes in important transac- 
tions. Such are the influences which guide the 
selection, in many cases, of the men who con- 
trol our schools, who manage their important 
financial operations, who determine upon courses 
of study, and upon the choice of text-books, 
who select and instruct the teachers. It is 
within the truth to say that in a very large ntmi- 
ber of cases all these great questions are decided 
by the votes of men who are utterly and bru- 
tally ignorant of all the matters with which they 
are dealing, and who are guided by no higher 
motive than their own corrupt and sordid inter- 
est. It is amazing that the American people 
should sit still and see this great institution de- 
graded and despoiled after this fashion. 

The only reason why the schools in many com- 
munities have not been ruined is that the teach- 


ers have preserved some sense of the sacredness 
of their vocation, and have managed to hold up 
the standards. Whatever of high-mindedness, 
and honor, and devotion to truth and duty find 
their way into our schools come, in most cases, 
from our teachers, and are not the inspiration 
of the governing boards. In their own associa- 
tions the teachers cultivate these higher inter- 
ests; such contact as they have with the school 
boards is often more apt to lower their aims and 
blur their convictions than to have any uplifting 
influence. Observe that I am speaking of what 
is often true, — of what, I fear, is true in the 
majority of our larger communities ; not of what 
is universally true. I hope that you may all 
find your ministry appointed to you in places 
like my own old home of Springfield, in Mas- 
sachusetts, where the best men of the community 
were on the school board, and all the affairs of 
the schools were guided with the broadest intel- 
ligence and the most inspiring wisdom. But if 
such should not be your happy lot; if, instead, 
you should find yourselves in communities where 
the great interests of education are prostituted 
to the service of ward politics, there will be a 
call upon you for some faithful testimony and 
some courageous leadership against a great in- 
iquity. If the function of the public school is 
what this argument has shown it to be, then it 


is a monstrous absurdity to leave it in the hands 
of such men as are now controlling it in a great 
many American communities. 

There are other phases of popular education 
of which, if there were time, I could find much 
to say to you. The public libraries and reading- 
rooms, the university extension lectures, the 
Chautauqua circles, the educational classes of 
the Young Men's Christian Association, and the 
Citizenship Clubs of the Christian Endeavor 
Societies, all these and many similar institutions 
and enterprises will enlist your interest, and 
find in you, I am sure, judicious and efficient 
support. Your own churches, wherever they 
may be, will be, I have no doubt, educational 
institutions of recognized value to the communi- 
ties in which they stand. You will be preachers 
of the gospel, that is the first clause in your 
commission ; but you will be teachers also, that 
is part of your high calling. And you will find 
ways of making your pulpit minister, week-days 
and Sundays, to the higher intelligence of the 
community; of winning for your churches the 
respect and gratitude of all true children of 
the light. For this is one of the ways of saving 
men, —of saving them from the doom of dark- 
ened minds and sordid pleasures, and of leading 
them into communion with God through his 
works, and into the fellowship of the Spirit in 
the lives of his children, 




Many of you, I trust, will have the good ^ 

fortune to begin your ministry in country 
churches. The field of labor which is offered 
to an enterprising young minister in a rural 
church appears to me very attractive. ^The__ 
great obstacle to success in these small com mu- 
nities is the appalling: number of sects in most 
of them, among which the C hristians are subdi- 
vided. Where these morbid conditions are less 
acute, and any church has a fair chance of 
uniting the rural community, it would be pos- 
sible for the right sort of man to do a kind of 
work for which the city gives a much less at- 
tractive opportunity. The thing to be done is 
to make the church and the minister's house 
the centre of a kind of social settlement into 
which the people of the countryside could be 
gathered into groups of various kinds for study 
and wholesome diversion and charitable work. 
The people of the country districts are not apt 
to be paupers, and there would be few eleemosy- 


nary features connected with such a work ; but 
they need social opportunities far more than the 
people of the slums need them ; and I believe 
that the idea of the social settlement in the 
city could be adapted to the country districts in 
a way which would give great vitality to the 
church and make it the source of boundless 
benefits to the people in its neighborhood. A 
young minister and his wife, both of whom were 
clear-headed and fresh-hearted, with invention, 
and initiative, and the love of souls, — that is, 
of men and women and boys and girls, - could 
go into a community of this kind and work 
wonders. I lived in the country until I was 
sixteen years of age, and I know the country 
people well enough to be sure that they would 
respond in a very enthusiastic way to such lead- 
ership. Clubs of boys and girls could be formed ; 
classes for the study of good literature and of 
social questions could be organized; debating 
societies, natural history societies, choral unions, 
could be tried; the life of the whole neighbor- 
hood could be filled with light. The people of 
the cities do not need these things, and do not 
care for them half so much as the people of the 
country would care; the church which under- 
took in this way to minister to their need would 
win their enthusiastic loyalty. I suppose that 
the grange, in many places, does supply this 


need to some extent; but it is the kind of work 
that the church ought to do. The deeper spir- 
itual needs of the people should by no means 
be neglected; the Sunday preaching services 
should be the central fire from which all this 
warmth and light should radiate; it should be 
evident to all that the motive of all this work 
is a genuine Christly love; it should only be a 
new revelation of what Christianity is able to 
do to vitalize and irradiate the whole life of 

That is all there is, my brethren, of the lec- 
ture that should have. been written, and that I 
wanted to write, about the social life of the 
country church. The subject has greatly inter- 
ested me, and I wanted to find the time to visit 
a good many of these country churches, and 
talk with the pastors and study the conditions 
on the ground, so that I might speak about it 
from adequate knowledge. I could not do that, 
and I am therefore compelled to dismiss it with 
these rudimentary suggestions. I hope that 
you will get some one else to take it up who 
knows all about it, and that many of you will 
be fortunate enough to work out the problem 
for yourselves. 

But many of you will be called to work in 
the cities; all of you will find that your lives 
and your labors are more or less affected by 


conditions in the cities, for the cities are be- 
coming, more and more, a dominating influence 
in our whole national life; and it is of the 
problem of the city that I have promised to 
speak to you in this concluding lecture. 

Of all the social questions confronting us, this 
seems to me the most difficult, the most urgent, 
the most portentous. The clear solution of this 
would greatly tend to the abatement of several 
of the social evils which we have been consid- 
ering; for good government in the cities would 
check the growth of pauperism and restrain the 
insolence of prostitution .and put to flight the 
armies of the gamblers and compel the liquor- 
sellers to obey the laws. Most of these evils 
thrive upon the inefficiency and corruption of 
our municipal governments. 

No one who has lived and labored for many 
years in ill-governed cities, in the interests of 
virtue, can fail to be aware of the evil influence 
which bad government exerts upon the charac- 
ters of those who live under it. The tone of 
public morality is affected; the convictions of 
the youth are blurred; the standards of honor 
and fidelity are lowered. That which in the 
family and in the Sunday-school and in the day- 
school and in the pulpit we are teaching our 
children to regard as sacred, the bad city gov- 
ernment, by the whole tenor of its administra- 


tion, openly despises; the things which we tell 
them are detestable and infamous, the bad city 
government, by its open connivance or inaction, 
proclaims to be honorable. The whole weight 
of the moral influence of a municipal govern- 
ment like that which has existed until recently 
in New York, like that which exists to-day in 
Philadelphia, and in many other cities, is hos- 
tile to honesty, honor, purity, and decency. 
The preacher of righteousness finds, therefore, 
in bad municipal government, one of the dead- 
liest of the evil forces with which he is called 
to contend. The problem of the city is a pro- 
blem in which he has a vital interest, a question 
on which he has an undoubted right to speak. 

The American city of the nineteenth century 
has been notable for two things, the rapidity of 
its growth and the corruptness of its civic ad- 
ministration. The population of the whole land 
has been growing apace, but the cities have 
grown at the expense of the rural districts. 
There is scarcely a town of five thousand inhab- 
itants, east or west, which lost population within 
the past fifty years, and there are scores and 
hundreds of towns which have grown within that 
time from nothing to tens or hundreds of thou- 
sands; while there are many fertile rural dis- 
tricts, east of the Mississippi, of which the pop- 
ulation is considerably less to-day than it was 


fifty years ago. This feature of American life 
is paralleled in Europe. The cities of the Old 
World have been growing during the ^^st cen- 
tury almost as rapidly as those of the New, and 
many of them, also, have grown at the expense 
of the agricultural districts. 

American cities are distinguished also for the 
dishonesty and inefficiency with which their 
business is administered. This is not the uni- 
versal fact; one can point to cities here and 
there which are thoroughly well governed; but 
I fear that it is the general fact. Most of these 
cities are encumbered with enormous debts, — 
debts which are burdensome to industry and 
thrift; and for a large portion of these debts 
the taxpayers have never had and never will 
have any adequate return. The municipal gov- 
ernments have been used, in many cases, for 
spoiling the people. To accomplish this, cor- 
rupt alliances have been formed by municipal 
politicians with the disorderly and vicious 
classes, and a free rein has been given to those 
malefactors who get their living by corrupting 
and debauching their fellow men. Worse than 
this — far worse in every way — are the cor- 
rupt alliances which have been made between 
the city politicians and the managers of quasi- 
public corporations by which valuable franchises 
have been obtained for little or nothing, and 


power to levy tiibute upon the community has 
been granted for years to come. These corrupt 
relations between quasi-public corporation s and 
city governments are a comparatively recent 
development in most of our cities. The great 
value of these franchises has not, until lately, 
been appreciated by the general public. The 
builders of street railways, the promoters of 
gas companies and electric-lighting companies, 
were regarded as public benefactors, and the 
public was willing that they should have every- 
thing they asked for. But the municipal poli- 
ticians have found out that they are worth some- 
thing to them at any rate; and for the last 
decade they have been reaping freely where 
they had not sown, and gathering abundantly 
where they had not strewed. 

We are warranted by revelations which have 
appeared, east and west, in saying that there 
are millions on millions of dollars in this coun- 
try, ready to be paid for franchises by which 
the people may be taxed to enrich the managers 
of quasi-public corporations. It is generally 
believed that a great deal of money has been 
used by such manipulators in electing munici- 
pal officers and in debauching them after they 
were elected. It is largely to this cause that 
the corrupt character of our present city gov- 
ernments is due. The men who zealously seek 


municipal offices are apt to be the kind of men 
who wish to use such opportunities of gain as 
the corporations afford them. Powerful but 
silent influences are all the while at work in 
many communities to secure the nomination and 
election of men who can be used in this way. 
And the men who manage the political machin- 
ery are often believed to be receiving large 
contributions from the managers of such cor- 
porations, and are thus under obligation to aid 
them in securing the nomination of men who 
will be serviceable to them. 

We have here one of the more recent and 
more powerful of the forces at work to produce 
municipal misrule. But other causes lie deeper. 

1. We must admit a considerable debasement 
of the average intelligence and morality of the 
urban populations, due to several causes : — 

(1) To immigration, which drops its sediment 
largely in the cities, and leaves in them great 
masses of people who do not speak the English 
language, and who can have no conception of 
the duties of citizenship. 

(2) To industrial crises and fluctuations which 
push multitudes over the borders of self -main- 
tenance into the limbo of irresponsibility and 

(3) To the constant influx of ne'er-do-wells 
from the neighboring country, who prefer to 


take their chances of livelihood among the odd 
jobs and the alms of a city rather than engage 
in any regular industry. 

(4) To a sentimental and nndiscriminating 
charity, which creates an economic demand for 
beggars and tends to the deterioration of char- 

(5) To the abandonment, by the churches, of 
those districts where their presence is most 

(6) To the absenteeism of large numbers who 
are the natural leaders of the municipality, but 
who have removed to the suburbs and lost their 
citizenship in the cities. 

To these and doubtless to other causes we 
may trace a certain degree of debasement in the 
mental and moral quality of urban citizenship. 
If, for any reason, the general average of intel- 
ligence, thrift, self-reliance, and virtue in any 
community has been lowered, we shall find in 
this deterioration a great cause of failure in our 
municipal governments. 

2. Out of such conditions springs the dema- 
gogue as naturally and as quickly as the toad- 
stool springs from the compost heap. The 
demagogue is produced by these conditions, his 
interest lies in perpetuating them. Action and 
reaction are equal, and, in this case, in the same 


3, The thoroughgoing partisanship of the 
reputable people is another prime cause of bad 
government. The great majority of moral and 
upright citizens can be relied on to vote the 
regular ticket if Beelzebub is the nominee. 
This infatuation affects deacons and elders of 
churches, Sunday-school superintendents, staid 
professional men, great multitudes of citizens 
who are on most other subjects tolerably sane. 
Such being the combination, the disreputable 
classes, who are never partisans, are, of course, 
easily masters of the situation. The dema- 
gogues, with such following as they can muster, 
hold the balance of power. The decent people 
will vote the straight ticket; they need not, 
then, be considered in making nominations. 
Fernando Wood once advised "pandering a 
little to the moral sentiment of the community," 
but that is not, by the managers, thought to be 
important. The problem is to present candi- 
dates who will be acceptable to the immoral 
sense of the community. 

I have been speaking, in these last sentences, 
in the present tense, when perhaps I should 
have spoken in the past. Signs of promise have 
appeared, here and there, indicating a purpose 
in some quarters to break the shackles of par- 
tisanship. But in reckoning up the causes 
which have produced the evil conditions now 


existing, this must be named as one of the most 

4. When the misrule begins to be intolerable, 
the city is fain to flee to the legislature for re- 
lief. Some reorganization is proposed, or some 
statutory contrivance is suggested, by which it 
is supposed that the mischiefs will be corrected. 
The citizens are afraid that they cannot cope 
with the demagogues, and they are all too busy 
to give much time to municipal ajffairs, so they 
beg the legislature to take the job of governing 
the city ojBE their hands. Having permitted the 
municipality to fall into this slough, they call 
on some power above them to come down and 
pull it out. The interference of the legislature 
in municipal politics is not apt to be wholly 
beneficent. It has been discovered, in some of 
our states, that cities can be reorganized for 
partisan purposes, and that the municipal pa- 
tronage can thus be used as a make-weight in 
state and national elections. Some of the worst 
evils in our city governments have arisen from 
this source. So it has come about that seven 
other devils, let loose from the State House, 
and worse than the home-bred demagogue, have 
entered into the City Hall, and the last state 
of that municipality was worse than the first. 

5. What Mr. Charles Francis Adams calls 
^Hhe disease of localism " is one cause of bad 


government. Eveiy American city, so far as 
I know, is divided into wards; each ward is 
erected into a petty political principality, and 
the ward "boss" and the ward "heeler" are 
thus called into existence. Here is the nidus 
of pestilent politics. The ward, as a political 
division, calls for the frequent gerrymander, 
and it opens the city council to the active oper- 
ations of the log-roller. The member from 
each ward wants something which none of the 
members of the other wards would vote for on 
its merits ; but by a combination of interests all 
these selfish schemes are realized, and their 
accumulated burden is piled upon the taxpayer. 
This excess of localism weakens the corporate 
unity of the municipality ; it results, inevitably, 
in the deterioration of its representatives in 
the council; the greediness of the precinct is 
fostered at the expense of municipal pride and 
patriotism. I quite agree with Mr. Adams 
that this is one cause of the low condition of 
municipal politics. 

6. Municipal politics follow the lines of na- 
tional politics, and are thus wholly destitute of 
meaning. Neither party, in a municipal con- 
test, has any ideas to contend for; nothing is 
at stake but the possession of the offices. The 
only principles at stake are John Randolph's 
famous seven, five loaves and two fishes. Foli- 


tics which rest on such a basis are not likely to 
rise much above the level of the curbstone. 

If such are some of the causes of bad gov- 
ernment in our American cities, then it may be 
possible to indicate some practicable remedies. 
Let me speak first of certain changes- which 
would, in my judgment, prove helpful in secur- 
ing better government, — changes of organiza- 
tion and method. I do not put much weight on 
these; I do not believe that any mere changes 
of method will accomplish much, unless deeper 
changes in the character and purpose of the 
citizens accompany them; but a good method 
is better than a bad one, and a good workman 
is sometimes crippled by a poor tool. Some 
methods of governing cities are better than 
others, and we are bound to get the best. 

First, then, I believe that it would be well to 
have in the constitution of every state a positive 
limit upon the power of the legislature to inter- 
fere in municipal affairs. The constitution of 
every state should furnish a few simple rules to 
which all city charters must conform, and should 
prescribe the methods by which the citizens of 
every city, in representative conventions, should 
frame their own organic law, submitting it, 
when framed, to popular approval. In some of 
the newer states this liberty is given, and I 
regard it as an important step in the direction 


of good goverDment. The people of each city 
should frame their own charter, as the people 
of each state frame their own constitution. 
And considerable freedom should be given in 
these enabling acts for the construction of the 
municipal machinery, that the people of every 
community may be permitted to express their 
life in their own terms, and that experiments of 
various kinds may be tried in various localities. 
Thus the right of home rule, in the largest 
sense, should be guaranteed to every city, and 
it should be made impossible for the citizens to 
shirk their responsibility for good government 
upon the legislature. If they want bad gov- 
ernment, let them have it, to their hearts' con- 
tent, and know that they and nobody else are 
to blame for it. Such a measure would result, 
as I believe, in greatly strengthening municipal 
pride and patriotism. The city corporation 
would no longer be a mere creature of the legis- 
lature; it would be the work of the people's 
own hands, and they woijd feel an additional 
degree of responsibility for its wise administra- 

2. The proposition to restrict the suffrage in 
municipalities is frequently heard. The rule 
prevailing in English cities appears to be a good 
one, — that no one shall vote for city ofBcers 
who has not a fixed residence, who cannot 


show that he is the occupier of definite premises 
within the corporation limits. On the other 
hand, every such occupier of city premises should 
have the right to vote in city elections whether 
his domicile be in the city or not. All men, or 
women either, who own or rent stores or shops 
or offices which they occupy for business pur- 
poses, ought to be permitted to register and 
vote in municipal elections. They are stock- 
holders in that great corporation which we call 
the city; they pay taxes, either directly or in- 
directly; they are immediately and pecuniarily 
concerned in having clean streets, good sewer- 
age and sanitation, cheap light, pure water, ade- 
quate transportation — in every interest which 
is represented in the city government, and they 
ought to have a voice in that government. The 
fact that they live elsewhere, and have a voice 
in other local governments, is no reason why 
they should not be permitted to vote in this 
municipality, any more than a man who is a 
stockholder in several business corporations 
should be forbidden to vote in more than one of 
them. A man should vote for President of the 
United States or for member of Congress or 
for state officers in only one place; but there is 
no reason why he should not vote for municipal 
officers in the city where he spends his days as 
well as in the city where he spends his nights. 


This is the rule in many of the EngUsh cities, 
and I can think of no principle of law or of 
political science or of morals with which it is 
in conflict. Conditions would be materially 
improved in several American cities, if their 
business men who reside in the suburbs were 
permitted to take part in their municipal affairs. 

3. The abolition of the ward as a political 
division and the election of the council and the 
board of education upon a general ticket ap- 
pears also to me a measure of some importance. 
This would involve some plan of proportion- 
ate or minority representation, or some form of 
cumulative voting. 

4. The question concerning the centralization 
of executive power in the hands of the mayor 
has been warmly debated. The best city gov- 
ernments of which we have knowledge — those 
of British cities — are governments by council; 
all the executive work is under the direction of 
council committees; the mayor has no executive 
functions. If we could hope to secure, in our 
American cities, for long terms of years, the 
services in the council of from forty to one 
hundred of the ablest and most responsible men 
in the city, such a system might be trusted to 
work very successfully. The English municipal 
system follows the analogy of the English Par- 
liament, and it has been working thus far with 


great efficiency. But the conditions in this 
country are so different that it is doubtful 
whether the English system could be made to 
work. It is probable that we shall adhere to 
our method of separating the executive from 
the legislative fimction, and if that is done, it is 
undoubtedly better to concentrate than to scat- 
ter executive responsibility. The recent tend- 
ency to give the mayor the power of appoint- 
ing, without confirmation, and of removing at 
pleasure the heads of departments is probably 
wise, in the existing state of public opinion. 
It has not always resulted in good government ; 
it may give us very bad government indeed, if 
the people are careless about the choice of 
mayor; but in such a case bad government is 
precisely what is deserved, and the worse it is 
the better. It is only by bringing immediately 
home to the people the consequences of their 
carelessness that they will cease to be careless. 
When they wake up, as they have in New 
York, and choose a thoroughly upright and 
capable mayor, the concentration in his hands 
of executive responsibility will be found to be 
a great advantage. Does any sane man think 
that it would be better to have the power now 
conferred on Mr. Low dispersed among a num- 
ber of boards or commissions, or shared by him 
with the municipal council? 


5. A rigid civil service system, fairly en- 
forced, with competitive examinations rationally 
adapted to each department, is also required. 
It is well to put considerable emphasis on the 
phrase "fairly enforced." It is sometimes true 
that civil service laws are enacted- by the party 
which is about to vacate the offices, for the 
purpose of keeping its own members in office; 
and experience has proved that such laws can 
be administered for partisan purposes. On the 
other hand, an incoming mayor may assume 
that the men whom he finds in office are all 
rascals, and may manage to establish the most 
hostile relations between himself and those 
employees whom the civil service laws protect 
against his arbitrary removal. A civil service 
law will not accomplish much good if it is used 
to screen incompetent officials, or if the execu- 
tive authorities hate it and constantly seek to 
break it down. But a civil service law judi- 
cially administered by the commission, and heart- 
ily accepted by the executive officers, will result 
in a great improvement in the public service. 

Such, then, are some of the legal changes 
which seem to me to be desirable in the organi- 
zation and administration of our municipalities. 
To give all cities the constitutional right to 
frame and amend their own charters ; to extend 
the municipal franchise to all persons owning 


or renting real property in the city, whether liv- 
ing within the corporation limits or not; to abol- 
ish the ward, as a political division, and elect 
councils and boards of education on general 
tickets ; to centralize the executive in the per- 
son of the mayor and to put the municipal 
service on the basis of the merit system, — 
these measures would, I am persuaded, have 
some tendency to purify and strengthen muni- 
cipal governments. Yet I do not put forth this 
programme as a panacea. I am perfectly well 
aware that with this machinery all in motion 
we might have very bad government. Some- 
thing more than the most improved political 
machinery is necessary to secure good municipal 
government. What is necessary ? 

In the first place the people of the cities must 
have some conception of what a well-governed 
city would be. We must have ideals, and keep 
them steadily before our eyes. The seer in the 
book of Revelation saw the Holy City, the New 
Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 
Mr. Drummond tells us that as John saw in his 
vision the New Jerusalem, so we must see the 
New London, the New Boston, the New Chi- 
cago, the New New York ; the city that ought 
to be ; the regenerated, purified, redeemed city ; 
we must see it, and believe in it, and be ready 
to work and suffer to bring it down to earth. 


Nothing that is worth doing is ever done in this 
world except under the inspiration of high 
ideals which take possession of the souls of men 
and control their conduct. What will that city 
be which shall occupy the ground where the city 
now stands which to me is most dear? Let me 
try to picture it. 

It will be a well-governed city, — a city in 
which law will be respected by the magistrates 
and obeyed by the citizens, whose streets will 
be safe by night and by day; a city in which 
the industries that debauch and degrade men 
shall not have larger opportunities than those 
which minister to their welfare ; a city in which 
the strong are not permitted to aggrandize them- 
selves, through legal privilege, at the expense 
of the weak; a city in which the great coopera- 
tive enterprises are economically and efficiently 
conducted for the public good and the revenues 
accruing therefrom are carefully expended for 
the benefit of the whole people. I trust that it 
will be a city in which the people have learned 
to cooperate in a great many ways for their own 
profit, securing for themselves vast benefits, at 
small cost, through associated ejffort. I hope 
that it will be a city in which there will be not 
only great parks and boulevards on the out- 
skirts, but many small pleasure grounds scat- 
tered through the whole area, within easy reach 


of all the homes. I hope that libraries, reading- 
rooms, great art galleries, and fine orchestras 
will provide for the education of all the people, 
without money and without price. I hope that 
the whole city will be so clean and healthy that 
every part of it shall be safe and desirable for 
residence ; that there will be no vast preserves 
of opulence in which none but the richest could 
live, and no sinks of squalor and misery in which 
none but the poorest would live. I hope that 
there will be no unemployed, rich or poor, in 
its population ; but that the city will find some 
way of making it certain that no able-bodied 
human being who is willing to work shall either 
beg or starve, and that every able-bodied human 
being who prefers to beg shall either work or 

These may seem to be high hopes, but many 
of them have been in good part realized else- 
where; I think that they are not irrational; 
that we may confidently look to the coming 
years to bring in the substance of these great 

But who are to do all these things for us? 
Who will quench the violence of partisanship, 
bridle monopoly, purge away corruption, banish 
pauperism, cleanse the slums, organize the 
cooperation, open the parks, build the art gal- 
leries, equip the orchestras ? Who will trans- 


form the nineteenth century city, with its rotten 
politics and its wasteful administration and its 
rank extremes of riotous wealth and groveling 
poverty, into the well-ordered, thrifty, peaceful 
community which we have seen in our dreams? 
The people, I answer; the people who live in 
the city ; the men and women of the palaces and 
the tenement houses; the people in the stores 
and the shops, the banks and the factories, — 
the people themselves must do it. Really, 
when you come to think about it, there is no- 
body else who can be expected to do it. No 
legions of angels are coming down from heaven 
to regenerate our cities; the Congress at Wash- 
ington will not be able to attend to it, nor will 
it be well for us to put our trust in the legisla- 
ture at Columbus or at Albany or at Harrisburg 
or at New Haven, or in any boards or commis- 
sions which it can contrive. No help is coming 
to us from any of these quarters. We are never 
going to get good government in the cities till 
the people of the cities give it to us. The one 
thing to be desired is that the interference of 
the state government with municipal ajffairs shall 
be reduced to a minimum, and that the respon- 
sibility of managing their own business shall be 
brought directly home to the people of every 
community. The attempt to take the power 
away from them, to invent all sorts of legislative 


pokes and hopples by which they shall be pre- 
vented from exercising their will, must result 

The truth is that democracy, with universal 
suffrage, is our dispensation; we are in for it, 
and we must fight it out along that line; if we 
are to be saved at all, we must be saved by the 
people; if we are to be reformed, the reform 
must spring from the intelligent choice of the 
people; it must express their wishes; the notion 
that by some sort of hocus-pocus we can get so- 
ciety reformed without letting the people know 
it does undoubtedly haunt the brains of some 
astute political promoters, but it will not work. 
No; there is no power in a democracy but the 
power of the people, and it is the people who 
are going to give us the regenerated city of the 
twentieth century, if we ever get it. Nor will 
it be done by the people of the churches and 
the colleges and the literary clubs and the art 
associations. It will not be done without them, 
but they alone can never accomplish it. A 
democracy in name which is an oligarchy in 
fact has no power for such tasks as these. The 
people of New York have begun to realize that 
there will never be good government in New 
York until the people of the East Side are just 
as earnest in their choice of it and just as clear 
in their understanding of what it means as the 



people of Murray Hill; the people of Chicago 
have got to learn — some of them know — that 
there will never be good government in that city 
until the people of Halstead Street have sub- 
stantially the same mind about it as the people 
of the Drexel Boulevard. 

Let us not iinderrate our problem. These 
people of the cities — many of them ignorant, 
depraved, superstitious, unsocial in their tem- 
pers and habits; many of them ignorant of the 
language in which our laws are written, and un- 
able freely to communicate with those who wish 

1 to influence them for good; having no concep- 
tion of government but that of an enemy to be 
eluded or an unkind providence from which dole 
may be extorted; and no idea of a vote higher 
than that of a commodity which can be sold for 
money, — these are the "powers that be" who 
must give us good government in our cities, if 
we are ever to get it. We need not imagine 

\jhat we are somehow going to organize a power 
which will fence these people in and hold them 
down and keep them harmless, — that we shall 
get good government by suppressing them ; that 
policy will never work. There are too many of 
them to manage in this way ; and so long as we 
suffer vast multitudes to remain in this condi- 
tion, so long we shall have corrupt and costly 
government. The doom of a democracy is to be 



as bad as its worst classes ; if we want to lift 
up the government of the cities, we must lift up 
the whole people. 

There is a picture in the sixtieth chapter of 
Isaiah of a regenerated and glorified city; a 
city whose officers are peace and whose exactors 
righteousness; whose walls are salvation and 
whose gates are praise ; a city which has risen 
from misery and shame to splendor and honor. 
"Whereas," says the Mighty One of Jacob, 
"thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no 
man passed through thee, I will make thee an 
eternal excellency, a joy of many generations." 
And the explanation of how it is to come to 
pass is given in a single sentence: "Thy people 
also shall be all righteous." That is the only 
way in which cities ever were redeemed or re- 

Most true it is that many things might be 
done by the people of the more intelligent and 
fortunate classes by which the emancipation 
and elevation of the ignorant and degraded 
classes could be greatly hastened. A consid- 
erable part of their degradation is due to the 
burdens which the prosperous and the strong 
wantonly or thoughtlessly impose on them. The 
tribute which these poor people pay for the en- 
richment of those who hold valuable franchises 
is very large. Because it is extorted in cents 


or fractions of cents it escapes notice; but the 
sum of such extortion, added together at the 
end of the year, would make the difference, in 
many a workingman's life, between squalor and 
decency, — perhaps between life and death. 
The gigantic inequalities of taxation, of which 
President Harrison spoke so sternly not long 
before his death, all work against the poorest. 
Such wrongs the rich and the strong can rem- 
edy, if they will, at once, without asking leave 
of those who suffer them. If such wrongs were 
remedied, the task of reaching these multitudes 
with light and help woidd be far less formid- 
able. Yet it would still remain true that for 
the great and beneficent ends which are involved 
in good city government these multitudes must 
be enlisted; they must be civilized, educated, 
inspired with new ideas ; new hopes must be kin- 
dled in their hearts ; new paths must be opened 
to their thoughts ; new wants must be awakened 
in them ; a wholly new conception of what life 
means must be somehow imparted to them. 

The city of the future which we saw in our 
dream is simply a great community cooperating 
for the public good, and in order that the coop- 
eration may be effective, the people must know 
what is good and how to cooperate. And this 
involves a mighty change in the characters of 
multitudes of them ! 


Well, there is no other way to get the good 
things that we have set our hearts upon. We 
must teach these people what life means, and 
what love means ; we must bring some regener- 
ating influence to work upon their characters, 
by which they shall be transformed in the spirit 
of their mind, and filled with the sentiments 
and impulses out of which social cooperation 
naturally springs. In short, they must be Chris- 
tianized. That is what must somehow be 
achieved, if our dream is to be realized. For 
the constructive idea of that cooperative muni- 
cipality of which we are thinking is the Chris- 
tian idea, simply that and nothing more; the 
idea that we are children of a common Father 
and therefore brothers, in deed and in truth; 
the idea that we are members one of another; 
that each must live for all and all for each. 
Somehow we must manage to get this idea into 
the minds of all these people, if we want them 
to help us in building on the earth the kind of 
city that we have been thinking about. And, 
doubtless, nobody can succeed, very well, in 
getting it into other people's heads, unless he 
has first got it in his own. 

This, then, is the thing that I am hoping for 
— that our communities are really going to be 
Christianized; that a great many people are 
coming to see that the Christian law is meant 


to live by, to do business by, to rule politics, 
to organize municipalities upon, and that they 
are going to make the world believe it. Such 
a faith as that would have tremendous power 
over the people in the slums and the tenement 
houses, to lift them up and make men of them. 
Before such a faith as that, transforming so- 
ciety, rotten politics and grinding monopolies 
would shrivel and disappear ; under its banner 
light and beauty, peace and plenty, joy and 
gladness would be led in. 

It is a glorious hope. Have we any reasons 
for it? We have good and strong reasons. 

In the first place, my own confidence goes 
down to the bedrock of all my beliefs that what 
ought to be is going to be. If I believe in God 
at all, I must believe that. Because I am sure 
that the kind of city we have been thinking 
about is the kind that ought to exist upon this 
continent, I am confident that it will exist. 

In the second place, I can see signs that it is 
coming. The last years of the nineteenth cen- 
tury witnessed a great awakening of thought 
and conscience upon this subject, and the whole 
trend of opinion is toward the idea that the 
future city must be a cooperative community. 
This means that it must be a Christian commu- 
nity; that the people must learn the Christian 
law, and live by it in all their municipal admin- 


But the first thing, as we have seen, is not 
the machinery, but the motive power; not the 
forms of a cooperative commonwealth, but the 
spirit of cooperation, the spirit of social service. 
It will come when there are enough men and 
women who are able to put the common welfare 
above personal gain or pleasure, and to work 
for the common good with the same self-effacing 
devotion as that which sends soldiers into the 
ranks in war-time, missionaries to the African 
jungles. There is no call to heroic, consecrated 
service clearer or more imperative than that 
which summons faithful men and women to give 
their lives to the service of the cities in which 
they live. The Master whom we serve has need 
of loyal representatives and followers in many 
fields; he needs them on the bloodstained soil 
of the Flowery Kingdom ; be needs them in the 
famine-stricken lands of India; he needs them 
in the frontier settlements of the West, and in 
the cotton-fields and the highland fastnesses of 
the South, but there is no place where he needs 
them more, no place where the opportunity of 
a self-denying devotion is greater, than in the 
cities of this land, — in taking up the burdens 
of civic responsibility, in witnessing and work- 
ing and suffering to redeem the cities from the 
thralldom of greed and vice and corruption. 

It is the ro^n and women who sit every Sun- 


day morning in the pews of our city churches 
to whom this call comes first and loudest. They, 
more than any others, are responsible for the 
redemption of the cities. The cities are in the 
melancholy condition in which we now find them 
because they have worn too loosely the bonds of 
civic obligation. They have been too willing to 
take from the commonwealth the protection, the 
privilege, the bounty which it dispenses, and to 
render little or no return in faithful service. 
^When the city has summoned them to labor and 
sacrifice they have answered, "I pray thee, have 
me excused." They have even marveled, some- 
times, at the unreasonableness of those who sug- 
gested that a man might be required to neglect 
his business, or to forego some portion of his 
gains, in order that he might serve the city. 
That has seemed to them an exorbitant demand. 
All such estimates of life must be revised. We 
shall never have good government in our cities 
till the people who profess and call themselves 
Christians get some idea of what Christian con- 
secration means, and understand more perfectly 
what is the high calling of God to the ^nerican 
citizen. K 

A great part of the Inspiring work Jtnmitted 
to your hands, my brethren, is to awl^en and 
foster the sentiment of community, the spirit of 
fraternity, the feeling that business of citizen- 


ship is a high and sacred function. There may 
be some who would doubt the wisdom of social- 
king, to any greater extent, the mechanism of 
the state, but there can be none who will ques- 
tion the immense importance of socializing the 
individual, — of teaching every man in society 
to think and speak and act with the welfare of 
the community continually in view. The best 
part of this work will be done in unofficial and 
homely ways; by such agencies as the college 
settlements and the neighborhood guilds which 
have borne such abundant fruit in the late over- 
turning in New York city; above all by such 
churches as have comprehended their mission 
and are devoting themselves to Christianizing 
the society in which they live. For that king- 
dom of heaven whose foundation principles are, 
"No man liveth unto himself," "Ye are mem- 
bers one of another," must in some good degree 
prevail before our cities will be delivered from 
that bondage of corruption under which they 
now groan and travail together. But every 
word of clear testimony, every act of good-will, 
every unselfish effort to promote the common 
weal, helps to bring a little nearer the day of 
that deliverance. 

If, while you are striving after this, some 
one should admonish you that your business is 
the saving of souls, it might be well to raise 


the question how and where it is in this genera- 
tion that souls are lost. How many of the 
youth are seduced from the ways of virtue by 
snares spread in their path through the conni- 
vance of weak and corrupt municipal govern- 
ments ? How many citizens find their standards 
of honesty and honor constantly lowered through 
the financial rascality which bad city govern- 
ment makes epidemic? Is there any associa- 
tion in which a man loses manhood more rapidly 
than in the pestilent politics of a rotten munici- 
pality? And how about these good people in 
the pews? Are they running no risks of losing 
their souls? Is the man in no peril who delib- 
erately spurns the sacred obligations of citizen- 
ship because he is unwilling to disturb his lei- 
sure or lessen his gains ? Are there any who 
are exposed to deadlier danger than those sleek 
and comfortable citizens who have handed over 
the business of governing the cities to the ward 
bosses and the promoters of monopoly, and who 
now content themselves with making money 
and having a good time, while the city goes at 
a plunging pace to pandemonium ? Let us not 
neglect the business of saving souls ; but let us 
try to get clear ideas of how it is that souls are 
lost and of what salvation means. 

Is there power in the gospel we preach to 
quicken men's CQ^^sciffnces with respect to these 


highest and most stringent obligations : to con- 
vict them of sin when such duties are evaded 
or denied, and to lead them into a genuine 
repentance? That is a question which ought to 
be considered very seriously by every Christian 
minister. Eeflection upon it may lead to the 
conviction that the saving of souls is a business 
larger and more urgent than many of those who 
use the phrase are apt to think. 

It is a high calling, my brethren ; I give you 
joy that you have chosen it. There has never 
been a day, since the Apostolic Band received 
their first commission, when the work meant so 
much as it means to-day; when its field was so 
wide, its opportunities so fair, its promise so 
inspiring. May God help you to understand 
all that it means, and to do it, while your day 
lasts, with all your might! 



Sociology, by John Bascom. 

Jesus Christ and the Social Question, by Francis G. Peap 

Outlines of Social ITieology, and God^s Education of Man, 

by WUliam De Witt Hyde. 
Social Morality, by Frederic D. Maurice. 
Christianity and Social Problems, by Lyman Abbott. 
Unto this Last, and The Croum of Wild Olive, by John 

Social Aspects of Christianity, by Richard T. Ely. 
Faith and Social Service, by Greorge Hodges. 
Social Reform and the Church, by John R. Commons. 
Moral Evolution, by Greorge Harris. 
The Divine Drama, by Granville D. Pike. 


Labor and Life of the People, by Charles Booth. 
Christian and Civic Economy of Large Towns, by Thomas 

Practical Socialism, by S. A. Bamett. 
Hull House Papers and Maps. 
American Charities, by A. G. Warner. 
How the Other Half Lives, and A Ten Years* War, by 

Jacob A. Riis. 
Dependents, Defectives, and Delinquents, by Charles R. 



The Christian Pastory by Washington Gladden, pp. 448- 

Reports of International Congress of Charities and Correct- 

turn, 1893. 


The Unemployed, by C. Drage. 

Problems of Poverty, by J. Hobson. 

Massachusetts Report on the Unemployed (1895), by Davis 
R. Dewey. 

The Workers, vols. i. and ii., by Walter A. Wyckofif. 

Tramping with Tramps, by Josiah Flynt. 

Report on Labor Colonies (in Germany), by J. Mavop. 

The City Wilderness, edited by Robert A. Woods. 

The Public Treatment of Pauperism, edited by John H. 

Report of Citizens' Relief Committee of Boston, for 1893- 

The Future Problem of Charity and the Unemployed, by 
John Graham Brooks, Annals of the American Acad- 
emy, vol. V. p. 1. 


Punishment and Reformation, by F. H. Wines. 

Prisons and Child Saving Institutions, by E. C. Wines. 

Prisoners and Paupers, by H. M. Boies. 

Heredity and Christian Problems, by A. H. Bradford. 

History of the Criminal Law of England, by Sir James 

Crime and its Causes, by William Douglas Morrison. 
Dependents, Defectives, and Delinquents, by Charles R. 

Reports of International Congress of Charities and CorreC' 

tion, 1893. 




Prohibition, Regulation, and Licensing of Vice, by Sheldon 

Prostitution Considered, by W. Acton. 
Fifth Report of the United States Commissioner of Labor. 
A State Iniquity, by Benjamin Scott. 
The Study of Sociology, by Herbert Spencer, p. 306. 
Wealth and Moral Law, by E. B. Andrews. 
Applied Christianity, by Washington Gladden, pp. 197- 

Elements of Ethics, by Noah EL Davis, p. 73. 
Economic Aspects of the Liquor Problem, by J. Keren. 
The Liquor Problem in its Legislative Aspects, by F. H. 

Wines and J. Eoren. 
Substitutes for the Salooti, by Raymond H. Calkins. 
Methods of Social Reform, by W. S. Jevons, pp. 236-276. 
The Workers, by W. A. WyckofP. 
The Temperance Problem, Past and Future, by E. R. L. 

Gould, Forum, November, 1894. 
Popular Control of the Liquor Traffic, by E. R. L. Gould. 


Democracy and Empire, by F. H. Giddings. 

Relation of State to Education in England and America; 

Annals of American Academy, vol. iii. pp. 669-690. 
American Contributions to Civilization, by Charles W. Eliot, 

pp. 203-233. 
The School and Society, by John Dewey. 
Social Theory, by John Bascom, pp. 351-363. 
Education in its Relation to Manual Industry, by Arthur 

Mac Arthur. 




Municipal Government in Great Britain, and Municipal 
Government in Continental Europe, by Albert Shaw. 

Reports of Conferences of the National Municipal League 
for Good City Government, 1894-1900. 

Municipal Reform Movements in the United States, by A. 
H. Tolman. 

The City and the People, by Frank Parsons. 

Municipal Monopolies, edited by £. W. Bemis. 

The Cosmopolis City Club, by Washington Gladden. 

Social Facts and Forces, by Washington Gladden, pp. 

EUctroiyptd and ^rinUd by H, O. Houghton ^ Co> 
Ca$nbridg€t Mau.^ U,S, A, 


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